Archives for January 13, 2014

Linda Marie Smith Mearra – Selkie from the Sea Available: February 25, 2014

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The ancient Celtic legend of the Selkie, a mythical seal with the mysterious ability to metamorphose into a human being, is the setting for Chicago-based singer/songwriter Linda Marie Smith’s fourth album, Mearra – Selkie from the Sea, to be released in February 2014.

With a genre-crossing vocal style that encompasses a folk/rock sensibility, Linda Marie Smith’s music is romantic, soulful, earthy, and mystical, with lyrics and melodies that weave colorful stories of curious places and intriguing people.  Linda has been compared to the likes of Christina Perri, Aimee Mann, Lucinda Williams, Natalie Merchant, Jewel, and Sarah McLachlan.

An enigmatic and bittersweet story of love, loss, and transformation,Mearra – Selkie from the Sea begins with Mearra, a young Selkie maiden, falling in love with Ian, a lonely fisherman entranced by her beauty.  Mearra bids farewell to her life in the sea, marries Ian, and starts a family.  However, at the end of seven years, a Selkie must return to her watery cosmos.  The sea inexorably calls for Mearra’s return.

Mearra – Selkie from the Sea transports listeners, inviting chldren and adults alike to use their imaginations as they enter an enchanted world that has inspired writers and composers like Yeats, Synge, and Arnold Bax for centuries.  The highly evocative “Ian’s Song” sets a mood of Celtic mystery.  “Mearra” follows, and the listener is swept up in an expansive cloud of orchestral colors created by strings, percussion, and synthesizer that conjures images of sea, sky, and wild, rocky coastline.   “All This and More” delivers a change of pace with something of a Nashville country sound, which effectively introduces a human element into the watery, mystical world of the Selkie.  The jazziest number on the album is “Heaven Knows,” with its upbeat rhythm set by piano, concertina, and enthusiastic hand clapping.

We received this CD to review and really enjoyed the musical story! My son says some of the songs are catchy and he says it’s great for down time.

Immersed in music since childhood, Linda Marie Smith turned her attention to songwriting as an adult, and, in 1998, released a self-titled debut album, followed two years later by a second album, Blame it on the Moon.  Linda’s first multi-media show, the critically acclaimed The Triumph of Artemisia, premiered in 2006, as did her album by the same name.   Her current project, the multi-media experience Mearra – Selkie from the Sea, forms the basis for its accompanying album, produced by Rich Rankin at Mosaic Music in Chicago.

Honored by the Billboard Songwriting Contest, Linda Marie Smith’smusic has also received recognition from the Illinois Arts Council in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts.  In addition to recording and performing, she teaches at Chicago’s famed Old Town School of Folk Music.

Mearra – Selkie from the Sea will be available online at CDBaby.com and iTunes.

Check out Linda Marie Smith’s website at http://lindamsmith.com.

Self Disclosure: We received this CD to facilitate this post.

Amy Adams 2014 Golden Globe Awards January 12, 2014 Look by Stephen Sollitto for Laura Mercier

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Makeup artist Stephen Sollitto created a “chic” 1970s-inspired makeup look for Adams, who won the Golden Globe for “Best Actress (Musical or Comedy)” for her role as Sydney Prosser in “American Hustle.”

Sollitto stated, “This whole season, in a nod to Amy’s movie ‘American Hustle,’ we have been inspired by the ‘70s. With their fantastic smiles, healthy glows and brushed out hair, we have kept the decade’s style in mind for each look.”

FACE: Flawless, bronzed, glowing skin was the focus of the look

 

·         Sollitto began prepping Adams’ skin the evening before the Globes, instructing the actress to apply RéVive Moisturizing Renewal Cream Retexturizing Hydrator, ($195) and RéVive Moisturizing Renewal Eye Cream Ultra Retexturizing Hydrator, ($140) after cleansing her skin. 

·         The day of the awards, Sollitto applied the NEW Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide (COMING FALL 2014)all over Adams’ face. Sollitto stated, “This foundation goes on easily but the finish is very polished. It’s long wearing, oil free and lightweight. The best thing is that is gives you a matte finish so you don’t have to dust your face with loose powder. It’s built in, simple and genius.”

·         To “catapult” the look into the ‘70s, Sollitto applied a light dusting of Laura Mercier Bronzing Pressed Powder in Matte Bronze, ($32).

·         He achieved the “perfect glow” by applying Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour in Praline, ($24) to Adams’ cheeks using his fingers.

LIPS: “Nudish orange” lips supported the star’s “bronzy glow”

·         Sollitto applied a mixture of Laura Mercier Crème Lip Colour in Discretion and Tangerine($24/each) because the customized shade “supported Adams’ bronzy glow, but didn’t compete with it for attention.”

 EYES: Neutral eyes that “pop”

·         First, Sollitto created a modern neutral base by applying Laura Mercier Baked Eye Colour in Ballet Pink($23) all over Adams’ lids.

·         Next, he brushed Laura Mercier Baked Eye Colour in Terracotta, ($23) into Adams’ lash line and lid, and sweeping it out at the corners of her eyes and under her bottom lashes.

·         To make Adams’ eyes “pop,” he applied Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick Colour in Plum, ($26) to her upper lash line and the outer corner of her lower lash line.

·         He then applied Dior Diorshow Blackout Mascara ($25) to her upper and lower lashes.

·         Sollitto finished the look by dotting Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick Colour in Sugar Frost, ($26) to the corners of the Adams’ eyes.

 Credit: Laura Mercier

Newly Imagined Build-A-Bear Workshop Store Coming Soon to Del Amo Fashion Center Award-winning store design with integrated technology provides new interactive experiences for Guests

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 Build-A-Bear Workshop®, the interactive entertainment retailer of customized stuffed animals, announced today that it will open a highly anticipated newly imagined store in Torrance, Calif at Del Amo Fashion Center  on Jan 24. The store is enhanced with innovative technology to provide a richer, more interactive experience for Guests. The company expects to operate approximately 30 locations in this new store format by the end of 2013 with an additional 20 to 25 locations planned in 2014.

“At Build-A-Bear Workshop, we are continually innovating to provide breakthrough experiences and products for today’s generation of tech-savvy kids,” said Sharon John, Chief Executive Officer and Chief President Bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop. “We are thrilled to bring our newly imagined store to Del Amo Fashion Center and look forward to having fun and making memories with our Guests.”

“We are excited for Build-A-Bear Workshop to bring its newly designed store to Del Amo Fashion Center,” said Lindsay Hermance, director of marketing and business development at Del Amo Fashion Center. “As a fellow leader in the interactive retail space, Build-A-Bear Workshop is providing a special destination to Del Amo Fashion Center that we know families will enjoy for years to come.”

Guests who visit the new store will see a noticeable change to the company’s trademarked stuffed animal-making experience including:

  • An interactive storefront that is enabled by Microsoft’s Kinect technology and interactive touch elements. Guests can play games and view the latest product offerings as they enter the store.
  • The Love Me station allows Guests to customize their furry friends with special personality attributes displayed as emoticons on an interactive table. Guests add unique traits – like brave, silly, and smart – to their red satin heart, which is added to their stuffed animal during the Stuff Me process.
  • The Hear Me station features an assortment of high quality sounds that can be added to stuffed animals. Using an interactive touch screen, Guests can select and load popular hits from current music, sounds, or their own voice onto a chip to further personalize their stuffed animal.
  • The Fluff Me station features a digital bath tub that recognizes the items as they are placed on it and reacts with sensory effects such as virtual bubbles that appear when play soap is placed on the “water surface.”
  • The Name Me station, where Guests use a viewfinder or “Bear-O-Scope” to reveal the special attributes they added to their stuffed animal. At Name Me, Guests also create a one-of-a-kind birth certificate that includes a photo of their new furry friend.

Through these interactive elements, Guests can personalize the bear-making process and have a different experience each time they visit. The store includes a number of technology platforms that enable Build-A-Bear Workshop to continue to update the store experience. Similar to how one might download a new app to a mobile device, the company is able to update the stations inside the store with interactive experiences that are relevant to certain product launches and seasons.

For more information, visit the company’s award-winning website, buildabear.com® and take a virtual tour of the new store at http://bit.ly/QAoJqJ .

About the Newly Imagined Build-A-Bear Workshop Stores

Build-A-Bear Workshop, the interactive entertainment retailer of customized stuffed animals, has created a newly imagined store design that merges the love of a teddy bear with the best of technology. In 2012, the company opened six newly imaged stores in select markets across the U.S. The newly imagined store received the Digital Signage Expo 2013 Award of the Year and a Gold Apex Award in Retail. In 2012, the store received Retail Touch Points Customer Engagement Award for in-store experience and was the first brick and mortar store to receive the Wired Trust Socially Safe Seal. By 2014, the company expects to refresh 40 to 50 locations with either full or partial elements of the new design format.  To learn more about the newly imagined Build-A-Bear Workshop store, take a virtual tour at http://bit.ly/QAoJqJ.

About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. There are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Mexico and South America. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball® mascot in-stadium locations, and Build-A-Dino® stores. Build-A-Bear Workshop extends its in-store interactive experience online with its award winning virtual world website at bearville.com. The company was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the fifth year in a row in 2013. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $380.9 million in fiscal 2012. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company’s award-winning website at buildabear.com®.

 

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Tickety Toc DVD “The Unstoppable, Unpoppable Bubble” Giveaway Opportunity!

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“The Unstoppable, Unpoppable Bubble” features six episodes of the hit Nick Jr. show that are bursting with fun for young fans. And as a special bonus, the DVD also includes an adorable paint booklet so preschoolers can enjoy art time, as well as viewing time, along with their favorite Tickety Toc characters! We received a copy of this to review and this latest release in DVD series from Anchor Bay Entertainment is a must-have for young preschoolers! It retails for $14.98. In the lead episode, “Bubble Time,” Tommy and Tallulah set out to test McCoggins’ new “unpoppable bubble” formula. But when a bubble becomes so big that it engulfs everything in its path, it’s up to helpful Hopperoo to save Tickety Town from a sticky situation!

In addition, to celebrate its latest Tickety Toc DVD release, Anchor Bay Entertainment is “serving up” a new partnership with Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods, Inc. As part of the timely – and tasty – new promotion, consumers who purchase an 8-ounce package of Cedar’s All Natural Hommus, 18-ounce package of Cedar’s Taboule Salad, or a 30-ounce package of Cedar’s Spinach Dip, can receive an instant $2 discount off of “The Unstoppable, Unpoppable Bubble” or “Tickety Toc: Chime Time Adventures.”

We have teamed up with Anchor Bay Entertainment for a fun Giveaway! One winner will win the DVD and a free coupon for 1 free Cedar’s product! Simply leave a comment below telling us one of your favorite Winter activities! Deadline to enter is January 20th, 2014 at midnight! One winner will randomly be selected from all entries!

Self Disclosure: I received a DVD for free to facilitate this feature.

 

 

Reese Witherspoon 2014 Golden Globes Awards January 12, 2014 Look by Mai Quynh for Laura Mercier

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Makeup artist Mai Quynh created a modern and warm look for Reese Witherspoon, who was a presenter at the 71st Annual Golden Globes. Quynh was inspired by the viridian color of Witherspoon’s Calvin Klein dress, as well as her golden complexion.

 FACE: Golden, flawless skin

·         Quynh first prepped the skin with La Praire Skin Caviar Luxe Cream and appliedFresh Sugar Lip Treat to her lips. Then she used a foundation brush to apply Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, ($32) all over Witherspoon’s face.

·         She then applied NEW Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation (COMING FALL 2014) using a BeautyBlender Sponge. She stated, “I love how the natural, matte texture of this foundation melts into the skin, leaving it smooth and flawless.”

·         Next, Quynh applied Laura Mercier Secret Concealer, ($23) under Witherspoon’s eyes and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, ($32) around her nose.

·         She then applied Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour in Praline, ($24) onto the apples of Witherspoon’s cheeks and layered Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Peach Whisper, ($25) on top. She stated, “Layering creams and powders will ensure that your makeup will stay on longer.”

·         Lastly, Quynh applied Laura Mercier Pressed Setting Powder in Translucent, ($34) using the Laura Mercier Finishing Brush, ($42). She then dusted the actress’s forehead, cheeks and chin with Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Powder Bronzer using the Laura Mercier Bronzer Brush, ($45).

 LIPS: Neutral lips

·         Quynh first used Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Colour in Play, ($24) and swept Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Bellini, ($24) on top.

 EYES: Bright, sultry eyes were the main focus of the look

·         First, Quynh mixed Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours in Sand Glow and Cocoa, ($26/each) and applied the color from the inside of her eyelid, blending it towards the outer lid.

·         Next, she applied Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Colour in Fire Glow, ($24) from the lash line to the crease using theLaura Mercier All Over Eye Colour Brush, ($30). She then blended the shadow using the Laura Mercier Eye Crease Brush, ($29).

·         For added depth and dimension, Quynh added Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Colour in Earth Glow, ($24) to the outer crease. She smudged both Illuminating Eye Colours to the lower lash line, using the Laura Mercier Smudge Brush, ($24) 

·         Finally, she rimmed Witherspoon’s eyes with Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Brown Copper, ($22) and finished the look with two coats of Laura Mercier Long Lash Mascara in Black, ($24).   

Credit: Laura Mercier