Archives for August 19, 2013

Back-to-School Delicious Chocolate Giveaway! Ovation Sticks found at SweetWorks

Ovation_Caramel Ovation_cappuccino

I have to admit I love chocolate! I know, I know..maybe chocolate really isn’t a Back-to-School necessity but I’m a homeschool parent and I really do think that chocolate is something that helps me get through the week. I recently received the All natural Cappuccino and the Caramel Ovation sticks from our friends at SweetWorks and they are delicious! The Milk Chocolate Caramel Sticks were a hit with my son but I prefer the Dark Chocolate Cappuccino Sticks! Just imagine an all natural dark chocolate truffle stick with a delicious cappuccino-flavored filling and only 15 calories per stick! Yes, they are little sticks but they definitely are enough when you are craving chocolate! Both the Milk Chocolate Caramel and the Dark Chocolate Cappuccino sticks are 100% All-Natural and cost $5.95 for a box of 40 individually wrapped sticks at SweetWorks. Check out these and so many more delicious products on their website.

Now for the Back-To-School Giveaway! One winner will win a 3.5 oz box of the Caramel and the Cappuccino Ovation Sticks. Leave us a comment below telling us your favorite Back-to-School essential! Don’t forget that you need to be a subscriber to enter! Next, “like” the SweetWorks Facebook Page! That’s it! Well, it would be “sweet” if you told them we sent you!  Deadline to enter is August 30th, 2013 at midnight. One winner will randomly be selected from all entries.

Self Disclosure: I received delicious chocolate products to facilitate this review/giveaway.


Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo Wall Art and Brand new App! Giveaway!



  • In the first year of life, children gobble up words at an incredible rate, learning 2-4 words a day in their second year of life and 4-5 a day by the time they reach their 5th birthday?


  • By 6 years of age, children in the U.S. have learned at least 10,000 words on average.


  • And, by adulthood, we have learned a vocabulary of anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 words, by conservative estimates.


Yuuko Uchikoshi, Ed.D. Associate Professor, School of Education at the University of California at Davis, expands on the importance of vocabulary, “Children who are exposed to and addressed lots of language in their environment have much larger vocabularies than children who are exposed to fewer words, and vocabulary size is correlated not only with language abilities later in life, but also with important academic outcomes.”


Learning while having fun is a top priority at The Jim Henson Company, and as the digital space has developed to be a highly powerful tool for preschool learning in the last several years, they teamed up with a language specialist as well as award-winning app developer Mindshapes, to create and launch a new app that provides opportunities for the youngest kids (24  to 42 months old) to master specific language goals while caring for their new friends in Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo!


Available now in iTunesJim Henson’s Chatter Zoo was created by Alex Rockwell (Pajanimals, Bear in the Big Blue House) and centers on four adorable zoo babies –FRANNY the baby cheetah, BAILEY the baby elephant, PIP the baby wallaby, and LULU the baby panda.    The big idea of Chatter Zoo is that young kids at home, who are just a little bit older than our adorable baby animals, get to ‘take care of’ and ‘teach’ these characters the very skills that they themselves are in the final stages of mastering using interactive play.   This offers them a sense of pride and accomplishment while simultaneously reinforcing the skills they are modeling. Behind all of this interaction is a curriculum that supports vocabulary acquisition and early language building. The zoo babies need the users help to learn lots of skills, but in order to do this, they must first master the most important skill of all — how to talk!

Ms. Uchikoshi, language specialist for the new app further explains. “Chatter Zoo teaches and reinforces language acquisition by transforming screen time from a passive activity into an active learning experience through engagement and interaction and—utilizing techniques drawn directly from a growing science on child development and language learning—incorporates three important factors that facilitate the learning of new words and concepts: frequency of exposure, comparing and contrasting, and routine and rehearsal.”



The Chatter Zoo ‘appisode’ includes two “Learn & Play” activities and two interactive stories, animation and music content immersing children into a kid-friendly, entertaining, and intriguing day in Chatter Zoo.   Together with the zoo babies, children will experience meal time where they help to feed the zoo babies their favorite food; play time; bath time fun after a busy day of playing; and bed time.  Each part of the app focuses on a few key words. In every story, the characters use the key words, and then repeat them in a simple song form at the end. The learn-and-play activities allow the child to interact with objects and learn their names while playing with the babies.


The zoo babies have a very joyful relationship with the audience at home. Through “Direct Address” they communicate with the user in order to play with them and to learn from them.  The babies also think the user is their best, best friend.  And Mindshapes’ custom Livebook™ format allows children to interact with and bring them closer to the characters through a variety of touchscreen interactions. The characters in Chatter Zoo are not only adorable, they also have a unique relationship with their young audience – they need them!


Now, for the giveaway! One winner will win a specially created Wall Art graphic featuring these adorable animals! (See above picture)  The wall art is 12” x 12,” features 16 useable graphics, and will have a retail value of $20 when available to the general public. We received the adorable Wall Art and the animals are so cute! Perfect for a little ones room! You must be a subscriber to enter!  Next, do the following:

Leave a comment below telling us why you would like to win! Then do the following: 

Follow The Jim Henson Company:

Follow Mindshapes:

Deadline to enter is August 30th, 2013 at midnight. One winner will randomly be selected from all entries. Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

Self Disclosure: I received a product to facilitate this feature/giveaway.




This August, nyakio is launching five brand new products from the Hydrating Kola Nut Collection


Available – August 2013



Product Detail


Hydrating Lip Balm with Kola Nut


Hydrating Kola Nut Collection Infused with African Kola Nut, Marula Oil, Trichilia Oil and Honey to help relieve and hydrate dry lips. This unique fusion also provides superb antioxidant benefits, leaving lips immediately comforted and soft. $20
Hydrating Eye Cream with Kola Nutimage003 Hydrating Kola Nut Collection Infused with African Kola Nut, Trichilia Oil, Chamomile Oil, and Marula Oil to help revitalize and hydrate the eye area. In addition to providing superb antioxidant benefits and helping to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this unique multi-tasking fusion also soothes, tones and helps restore, nourish and protect the eye area. $39
Hydrating Face Cleanser with Kola Nut


Hydrating Kola Nut Collection Infused with African Kola Nut, Trichilia Oil, Chamomile Oil, Lavender Oil and Rooibos Tea to revitalize, hydrate and soothe while providing antioxidant benefits. This unique nourishing fusion leaves skin thoroughly cleansed, soft and more youthful-looking. $29
Hydrating Face Cream with Kola Nut


Hydrating Kola Nut Collection Infused with African Kola Nut, Ximenia Oil and Chamomile Oil to leave skin more youthful-looking. This unique multi-tasking fusion also adds radiance and softens skin. $49
Hydrating Face Lotion with Kola Nut, Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen


Hydrating Kola Nut Collection Infused with African Kola Nut, Marula Oil, and Rooibos Tea to help protect and hydrate for 12 hours. This benefit-packed fusion also helps smooth texture, even skin tone and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful, radiant look. $49

I received the Hydrating Eye Cream with Kola Nut and love how it feels on my skin. My favorite thing is how it hydrates the skin around the eye area. The products will be launched  August 15 on HSN and The Hydrating Face Lotion with Kola Nut will be available exclusively on later this month.



      Nyakio Kamoche Grieco, the brand’s founder and namesake, created the brand to pay homage to her family’s heritage and share their beauty secrets, and also to fill a gap in the marketplace, bringing the timeless beauty traditions and sophistication of Africa to women everywhere.


        From the ivory coast of Africa, this nut, which contains more caffeine than a coffee bean, invigorates and revitalizes skin.



     Nyakio’s Hydrating Kola Nut Collection was inspired by her paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather. Her grandmother passed down her beauty philosophy of the energizing and invigorating benefits of caffeine, which led Nyakio to discover other caffeine-rich African ingredients, including the Kola Nut.

Nyakio’s grandfather, a farmer and medicine man, knew how to find ingredients in nature and produce oils to protect and treat the skin. Inspired by her grandfather’s healing practices, Nyakio infused the African Kola Nut with hydrating African oils such as Marula Oil, Trichilia Oil, Chamomile Oil and Ximenia Oil to create this collection.

Self Disclosure: I received a product sample to facilitate this feature.


Jobs KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,


This movie is really cool and tells a great story about an inspiring person. After watching this movie I want to learn more about Steve Jobs and other aspects of his life.

This movie is all about a person named Steve Jobs (Aston Kutcher) starting when he is in college and likes to build things. So, he calls in a friend named Woz (Josh Gad) who helps him get started building a computer called the Apple Computer. Woz agrees to help Steve and eventually they create a company. Steve runs the company and makes tons of stuff but sadly he is voted out by the board and his company is taken away from him.

The main characters are Steve, Woz, Mike (Dermot Mulroney) and Arthur (J.K. Simmons). My favorite character in the movie is Woz because he is really cool and funny. He helps Steve’s dreams come true. He is also a good technician and very good with computers. He is a really good pal and stands by Steve’s side no matter what.

My favorite part in the movie is when Steve and Woz create the Apple Computer II because it is really cool and it is the second product they ever made. It is really inspiring. It gives you a message that says never give up on your dreams because it could come true if you try hard enough. I would love to be just like Steve. He inspired me to try my best and keep working hard.

I recommend this movie for ages 8 to 18 because there is no violence in the movie but there is a lot of adult language that even I couldn’t understand some times. All in all, it tells a great story about a man’s life. Go out and see this movie in theaters now.

Reviewed by Anthony Aranda, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11