Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Creative Kid's Halloween Costume Ideas Courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres

Halloween is next week so if you are still looking for a cute and creative costume for your little one, look no further! 

Ellen DeGeneres has complied a list of kids costumes for everyone trying to do something a little different for their children this year. And trust me, these suggestions are as adorable as they are unique! For all our procrastinators out there who save costume-making for the last minute (something I am guilty of this year), no need to fret because some of these costumes are incredibly easy to put together at a moment’s notice. 

1. Flower in a Pot

Just some fake flowers, a headband, brown pants or skirt, and a plastic container are needed to put together this super cute costume.

2. Baby Einstein 

This was one of my favorite ones on the list. @ellieperillo transformed her son into a miniature Einstein using just a white onesie, a fake mustache, and some fake gray hair coloring. 

3. Little Pilot

For all arts and crafts lovers, this is the perfect costume. If you aren't good with crafts or don't have time, you can forgo the cardboard plane and put together an outfit using a hat, scarf, leather jacket, and the signature goggles. 

4. Pretty Peacock

The nice thing about this costume idea is that it can range from quick and simple to really detailed depending on how much time and energy you have to put into it. All you need for the basics are purple tights, a blue tutu, blue shirt, and a feather tail. The rest is up to you!

5. Cuddly Koala

Ellen loved this submission by @tsmurray that she added it to her list of best costumes- and we don't blame her! This little koala couldn't be cuter. 

6. Cabbage Patch Kid

All this clever costume requires is a pink shirt with a denim dress and a wig.

7. Instagram 

As a fan of social media, I obviously had to include Felicia R's clever submission from Ellen's list! 

8. A Spelling Bee


This was one of the most creative ones I came across, and not too difficult either!

9. The Simpsons

An awesome idea for family costumes!

10. Wizard of Oz

Such a cute idea for siblings. Thanks to @sefull7 for submitting this to Ellen's list!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

MusEffect Stands Up to Cyber Bullying in this Powerful Clip

October is one of my favorite months of the year, not just because of Halloween (although that is a big part of it!) but also because it is a month for raising awareness about several very important issues. In addition to being the month dedicated to breast cancer awareness, October also serves as National Bullying Prevention Month.

Bullying has always been a problem, especially with kids and teens, but with the rise of social media and other various forms of technology a new kind of bullying has also risen- cyber bullying. Access to cell phones and the Internet in school as well as at home has created an atmosphere where bullies can thrive because it rids of the face-to-face conflict and allows people to bully anonymously. Proper use of social media and technology is a beautiful thing, but cyber bullying is a serious concern for today’s kids and teens. Because of this, it is important that we work towards preventing cyber bullying and this starts with awareness of the causes as well as the detrimental effects behind the issue. 

MusEffect, a non-profit company that highlights current issues through performance, decided to take on this difficult task and contribute towards the spread of awareness through the creation of a public service announcement. 

Choreographed by Muse founder Jessica Starr, the clip features a group of talented young dancers to the powerful words of poet Azure Antoinette. The extremely moving short film provides a peak into the world of painful world of cyber bullying and I encourage everyone to watch it and share with others!

Click below to watch: 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Reminder of Why We Wear Pink in October

October is not only the month for spooky costumes and apple picking but it’s also the month dedicated to breast cancer awareness. Students, athletes, and organizations across the country are going pink this month to represent and support breast cancer survivors everywhere. 

To join to fight against breast cancer, staff at ONCEKids has dedicated themselves to “thinking pink” for October. But this concept means so much more than just a color. So although we love and participate in the idea of pink, I want to remind you the purpose behind that (awesome) color. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created to spread awareness and encourage steps towards prevention of the disease that affects 1 in 8 women during her lifetime. It was also created to support, encourage and inspire hope in those who are currently battling breast cancer or who have recently overcome it and their loved ones. The color pink symbolizes hope, unity, and a common cause: to overcome the disease that more than 12.4% of women fight. Integrating pink into our daily lives reminds women fighting breast cancer that they are not alone and that there is hope. In 2011, more than 2.6 million women fought and won their battle with breast cancer. 

So while “Pinktober” remains an amazing idea, lets not forget why and for whom we are going pink for in the first place. Some breast cancer fighters have expressed concern that in the sea of pink, the message behind Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been drowned out. So let us remind these strong mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and friends that behind all the pink the message stands clear and stronger than ever- the key to prevention is awareness and this month we will be dedicated to spreading that awareness to everyone around us. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ONCEKids Shares Pictures From This Year's Orange County Children's Book Festival

On September 28th, OnceKids joined over 150 other authors, illustrators, and publishers at the 11th annual Orange County Children’s Book Festival. The festival was created by Barry Ackerman to promote literacy and a love of reading in children everywhere, a message that still stands strong today. Since it’s inception in 2004, the festival has grown substantially, with over 130,000 attendees this year. 

OnceKids was so excited and honored to have our beloved author Eileen Wacker and her amazing Fujimini Adventure Series featured at this year’s event and it could not have been more fun! 

Scroll below to see some of the photos from this year’s festival:

1. Setting up our booth!

2. Prepping for the big day!

3. Author Eileen Wacker and two of our amazing actors

4. Early on in the festival

5. Blue Penguin and our new friend share a high five

6. Our first visitors!

7. More high fives!

8. One of our biggest attractions of the day- Face painting! 

9. Our new adorable friend

10. Lia from OnceKids is ready!

11. Another great shot of author Eileen Wacker with actors Anita Vora and Jason Richter

12. Cassidy getting ready to rock out in our Blue Penguin suit!

13. Author Eileen Wacker

14. Little fans get a sweet surprise from the Blue Penguin

15. Author Eileen Wacker signs her new book for a fan

16. A snap shot of the main stage from the OC Book Festival!

These are just a few of the many photos from our awesome weekend at the Orange County Children's Book Festival! If you weren't in attendance for this year's festival make sure to make an appearance next year and experience what is becoming one of the largest children's book festivals in the country.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

All Female Group 'The Mrs' Wants Women Everywhere to Know They Are Enough in this Powerful Video

A touching video is going viral across social media mediums right now with a powerful message behind it. The all female group The Mrs wants women everywhere to know that they are beautiful on the inside and the outside, that they are love and appreciated, and that they are always enough. 

Watch as a group of women stand in front of an interactive mirror and are asked how they feel about what they see in the reflection. Most of the women respond with something along the lines of “okay”, “not great”, “hot mess” and so on until the voice behind the mirror steps in to show them how wrong they really are. 

Watch the moving video and join the fight to let the people you love know that they are enough just the way they are.

Click below to watch and get your tissues ready!

Emma Watson Changes the Game With Her Powerful Speech on Feminism to the U.N.

Last weekend at the U.N. headquarters in New York City, Emma Watson delivered an incredibly passionate speech regarding the controversial topics of feminism and gender roles in our society. But with her recent launch of the “HeForShe” campaign, Ms. Watson doesn’t intend to just talk about feminism but actually begin to take action. 

Her speech attempts to dissolve some of the stereotypes that are often associated with feminism, such as the idea that it is a man hating group that calls for female superiority. She reminds us that the true definition of feminism is the desire, not for superiority, but equality among both genders. She invites the male gender to stand up and join the fight for equality, not just for the sake of women but for the sake of all people. With her development of the “HeForShe” campaign, Ms. Watson hopes to abolish the “us versus them” mentality and bring us all together to fight for a common cause. 

It is a long speech, but I promise you it is worth the time. Her words rendered me speechless and filled me with the hope and confidence that change is coming and that we can all work together to make that change happen.

Click below to watch the incredible, powerful speech that brought a room full of world leaders to their feet:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Orange County Children’s Book Festival is Truly Outdoing Themselves This Year

Every year the Orange County Children’s Book Festival provides an exciting day for children and their families filled with a wide variety of activities, but this year they are truly outdoing themselves. Not only is this year expected to be the biggest so far, with 39,000 attendees expected, but it will also feature the most activities. 

Attendees will have a chance to be surrounded by a “melting pot” of some of the most talented illustrators, authors, and publishers. Purchase books on the spot from your child’s favorite author and personally ask the writers any questions you have. In addition, there will be over 100 authors available for book signings and autographs. Six different stages are located at the festival where authors will perform live readings of some of their newest or most popular books. 

But for the 2014 festival, the fun doesn’t stop there. This year’s most beloved movie is coming to the OC Festival too! One of the Storyteller Stage performances will be a sing-a-long rendition of Frozen’s “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, bringing the movie’s magic to life before a live audience. 

Other performances include a puppet show of the classic fairytale, “Thumbelina”, as well as Miss Mouse, Swallow, the Ugly Toad, and Mr. Mole. 

After the Storyteller Stage, children and their parents can migrate to the Illustrator Stage, where they can get in touch with their creativity by participating in drawing lessons taught by professional artists and cartoonists. 

After learning to draw like a professional, kids can get become acquainted with their wild side by walking through the Wild Animal Stage, which includes a free petting zoo and a showing of exotic birds. 

Parents who love to cook or want to learn can bond with their children during the Cooking and Health Stage. Renowned chefs will be present to teach parents some quick, easy, and healthy meal ideas that the whole family will love. 

The Orange County Children’s Book Festival was created in 2004 based off of the idea of spreading a love of reading to all children, and that idea is still very much present in the festival today. So many people come together on this day to create a magical, fun, and educational environment that all children can open up their minds, hearts, and imaginations in. 

OnceKids is incredibly honored and excited to be able to be a part of that mission this year. So stop by and spend some time in the World of Fujimini Island at Booth 50 for a while during your adventure at the festival!