Archives for August 2017

Books of the week!

I Can Fly Girl

Looking for a book for your children that will teach them about believing in themselves? This is the perfect book! If You Tell Me, I Can Fly is a stirring tale for children about transformations in life and how one day they, too, will emerge from childhood’s cocoon to fly as young adults. Thayer’s words are complemented by the illustrations of Linda Nagy.

Children and parents will follow along as a hummingbird, a bumblebee and other winged creatures leave the earth behind and take flight for the first time. This unusual book comes in two versions with two inspiring endings – one featuring a girl, the other a boy.

It is a delightful story with beautiful illustrations! I highly recommend!

About The Author

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Sharon Thayer also is the author of The Myth of Santa’s Beard. She is a former teacher and owner of a nature-based childcare center who now is a full-time author of children’s books. As a child growing up in Rockford, Ill., Thayer’s attempts to read were stymied by dyslexia, but today she enjoys reading aloud and sharing her stories with children

The following are some great creative choices for kids!

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Duct Tape Engineer: The Book of Big, Bigger, and Epic Duct Tape Projects by Lance Akiyama is a great one for teens! I recommend this one for ages 14+. From a working cannon to a bridge, this powerful everyday adhesive is perfect for creating incredible things! In Duct Tape Engineer, master tinkerer Lance Akiyama shows readers how to design and build fourteen mega projects ranging from backpacks to queen-size beds from nothing but duct tape. Every project is specially designed by Akiyama to be a blast to build, and last a good long time. Packed with full-color illustrations and easy to follow instructions, Duct Tape Engineer is perfect for crafters of any age.

I was really impressed with the variety of different projects and that they weren’t complicated.

About the Author:

Author Lance Akiyama combines tinkering and education into a single aspiration: to create a better world by inspiring the next generation of innovators with exciting hands-on projects. He has created project-based learning tutorials on Instructables.com, started an after-school engineering service, and is currently employed as a STEM-based curriculum developer for Galileo Learning. Lance spends his free time designing elaborate plans for advanced contraptions, keeping journals in cryptic backwards writing, and attempting to fly by strapping paper wings to his arms and leaping from rooftops. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Lance Akiyama is the author of Rubber Band Engineer (2016), Duct Tape Engineer (2017), and the forthcoming 2018 book DIY Ballistics Engineer–all from Rockport Publishers.

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Have a teen who loves Star Wars? This one is a must-buy! Star Wars: Build a Scene –  Build Papercraft Scenes from a Galaxy Far, Far Away by Benjamin Harper and Claudio Dias.

Star Wars: Build a Scene includes everything you need to make iconic papercraft scenes from the Star Wars universe. The kit provides ten sheets of punch-out pieces and step-by-step instructions for creating three detailed 5″ x 8″ x 4″ paper dioramas, including one with LED lights.

Re-create the drama of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader’s duel on Mustafar from Revenge of the Sith; the nail-biting trench battle on the Death Star from A New Hope; and the Kylo Ren and Rey lightsaber fight in the snowy forest of the Starkiller Base from The Force Awakens. The accompanying book includes illustrated assembly instructions for the models, along with three essays on each classic scene and how they were designed and filmed.

Each model takes roughly 2–4 hours to build.

This one will keep older kids busy if they are still on summer vacation!

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Stick Sketch School: An Animal Artventure – Mastering the Art of Stick by Billy Attinger and Rachel Kochackis is a lot of fun! I had fun with this one! I am not the best at drawing but am pretty good at drawing stick people so I had fun drawing stick animals! I recommend this one for ages 10+.

About the Authors:

Author Billy Attinger is an artist, entrepreneur, and creator of successful brands, including Stick World(r), an iconic collection of stick figure art whose multi-million dollar program has been licensed and sold successfully throughout major retailers around the world. Billy resides in sunny Southern California where lives with his wife and three beautiful children, whom he credits as the major source of inspiration for his lively, playful, and humorous style. His company, Inconceivable Studios, as well as his portfolio, can be viewed at www.billyattinger.com and www.inconceivablestudios.com.

 

Author Rachel Kochackis was a pioneer in early digital warfare (video games) and was part of the original Stick War think tank (high school Spanish class) with Billy Attinger. A consistently misunderstood frequent flyer to the school psychologist, she helped co-found the faux-rock band The Roach Motels. She has enjoyed success writing books and screenplays and currently resides with her three trilingual dogs: Victoria, Chloe Osita Horachata, and Jasper.

Middle Grades Summer Reading: Harry Potter Fans Will Love Seven & Two!

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The first book in the “Our Young Guardian” series, Seven & Two launches the epic journey of a group of children who leave their family to join an ancient quest against a dark, evil army. Reminiscent of such coming of age stories as Lord of the Flies and the epic tales of Harry Potter, Seven & Two is really magical and middle school age children will love this one!

About the author:
Rodi Szoke was born in Mexico City but now lives with his family in Texas. His ancestry blends Hungarian and Mexican heritages across generations. He earned his bachelor’s degree in information technology in 1991 and has worked in that field ever since. Early in his life, Rodi developed a keen interest in fantasy and sci-fi adventures, making him grow into an avid moviegoer and casual gamer. Seven & Two is his debut novel.

Learn more about Rodi at https://www.rodibooks.com/ and connect with him on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.

Our Young Guardians: Seven & Two is available on Amazon.

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“Otis Grows” Offers Adventure, Perspective, and Comfort.

In the beautifully crafted new children’s book Otis Grows by Kathryn Hast, we’re introduced to young Otis, a red onion who is forced to question his origin and allegiances—given that his mom, a yellow chicken, is part of the Nuh-Uhs, and his dad, a blue flower, stems from the Yes-Chums. Struggling to find answers, Otis runs away, only to encounter more colors and cultures than he could ever imagine. Rooted in the challenges of family conflict, this book appeals to any child – or adult – who knows that growing up can be tough, but that, ultimately, love and wonder will win.

This is a delightful story that I recommend for families to read together! 

More info:

Kathryn Hast has a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in writing and a Master’s degree in Education. She is from York, Pennsylvania, and she lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband and two children. She has one dog named after a Beatles song, and one that barks at the television. Otis Grows is her first published work of fiction, and her next book Batty Betty is forthcoming.

Learn more at www.lujubooks.comFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Otis Grows can be purchased from www.lujubooks.com and Amazon.

The next two our delightful picture books!

LITTLE PLANE LEARNS TO WRITE by Stephen Savage_FC

LITTLE PLANE LEARNS TO WRITE by Stephen Savage.

This one is a really delightful story about Little Plane who learns to sky-write. Children will laugh out loud and enjoy this story!In the tradition of Stephen Savage’s award-winning picture books, the main character learns a big lesson about persistence and determination as he learns to master loopity-loops — the one trick that doesn’t come easily for him.

More info: 

Stephen Savage

Stephen Savage is the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling picture book Polar Bear Night, also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Picture Book. He’s also the creator of Little Tug, which School Library Journal called “petite but powerful,” and Supertruck, which earned six starred reviews and a Geisel Honor.

DON'T BLINK by Tom Booth_FC

DON’T BLINK! by Tom Booth is unique! It is quite different than most picture books out there!  Don’t Blink breaks the fourth wall, drawing readers into an actual staring contest with the characters on the pages. Young readers and fans of Press Here and The Book With No Pictures will love interacting with this story on a whole new level.

More about the Author:

Tom Booth

Tom Booth actively shares his artwork with fans on Facebook, Tumblr, and especially Instagram, on which he has over 30,000 followers alone. On Instagram, nine posts featuring characters from this book received over a thousand likes each.

 

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above books to facilitate this book feature. Images and info were also provided.

 

 

Leap! – A Wonderful Film with a Big Meaning about Never Giving up on Your Dreams

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An orphan girl dreams of becoming a ballerina and flees her rural Brittany for Paris, where she passes for someone else and accedes to the position of pupil at the Grand Opera house. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “Leap! is a great film with a big meaning. This film teaches it all – honesty, perseverance and the importance of practice, family, believing in yourself, believing in your dreams and passion.” Sahiba K. adds, “A quick dive into the storyline and action captivated me from the beginning. The animation engrossed me with its beautiful and realistic settings of buildings, streets and skies. The designs of the characters’ outfits are unique and exquisite.” Dariana A. wraps it up with, “Leap! is a marvelous movie that is so inspirational. It has a classic plot of a dance movie, with amazing twists that keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more.” See their full reviews below.

Leap!
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

 

Leap! is a great film with a big meaning. This film teaches it all – honesty, perseverance and the importance of practice, family, believing in yourself, believing in your dreams and passion. Felicie makes a lot of mistakes during her journey, which set her back, but that doesn’t stop her from continuing to push through.

The story begins when Felicie and her best friend, Victor escape from an orphanage. They take a train to Paris so that Felicie can attend a dance school there and Victor can become an inventor. They arrive in Paris without any money. During their journey, they encounter many challenges. As Felicie meets new people, a love conflict arises as well as a conflict with a wealthy lady who is pure evil and wants to crush Felicie’s dream.

A wealthy woman Regine (Kate McKinnon) is cruel, rude and arrogant, but a boy with a crush on Felicie protects her from Regine.  McKinnon makes Regine sound totally wicked in a bad but great way. The boy, Victor (Natt Wolf) is portrayed as a timid, but an optimistic and caring friend.

The animation in this film is spectacular! It is very detailed and their mouths move with the words they are saying so well the animated characters seem real. The voice acting is spot on. The voices are filled with emotion and an inspiration to the audience, including me.

My favorite part is when Felicie watches a ballerina at the French dance school. She takes just one look at the ballerina’s dance and knows she wants to dance and that she can dance. You can really see Felicie’s passion for dancing right there. The whole movie is all about passion and the movie will inspire viewers to follow their dreams.

The message of this film is to follow your dreams. It show how, in order to succeed, you have to work very hard, believe in yourself and have passion. Felicie is an exemplary role model.

Leap! is a very inspirational film with a very important lesson and a pleasure to watch. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. Adults will love this movie as well. I really enjoyed watching this film. Definitely check this awesome movie out when it opens nationwide in theaters August 30, 2017.

Leap!

By Sahiba Kaur, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

 

Leap!, directed by Eric Summer is a fun filled, adventurous experience! A quick dive into the storyline and action captivated me from the beginning. The animation engrossed me with its beautiful and realistic settings of buildings, streets and skies. The designs of the characters’ outfits are unique and exquisite.

 

The story follows two best friends, Felicie (Elle Fanning) and Victor (Dane DeHaan) who have tremendous dreams. Felicie yearns to be a ballerina and Victor, an inventor. Together they escape their home at an orphanage and arrive in Paris to pursue their ambitions.

 

Elle Fanning as Felicie’s voice communicates sadness when she sniffles, happiness as she squeals with joy and courage with a firm voice. Through Felicie’s voice, I connected to her. Dane Dehaan as Victor’s voice adds great joy and lightness to the film. The humor in his voice made me laugh out loud along with the audience.

 

The animation is the highlight of this film. The settings and surroundings are intricately detailed. When Felicie and Victor walk through the streets of Paris, the walls of the different buildings are covered with posters that have been ripped or worn down, the individual bricks or stones that make up the walls and street floors are covered with moss and miniscule cracks which adds to their realistic look. The architecture is angelic. The images of the Grand Opera house does true justice to the actual opera house. The ballet choreographer, Benjamin Millepied, wonderfully creates dance masterpieces. Although animated, I felt as if I was watching Felicie dance in real life. In one scene, two girls dance side by side and gracefully migrate from the stage to the chairs in the audience, to outside the stage. They use multiple areas as their stage and still look skillful and elegant.

 

My favorite part are the costumes. Designed to be sophisticated, from the ballerina’s tutus to the vest of the Director of Opera, they have beautiful flower prints with bright colors and are very visually appealing.

 

The messages of this film is “never give up on your dreams” and “persevere towards your goals.” I give 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It opens nationwide in theaters August 25, 2017 so, check it out.

 

Leap!

By Dariana Alvarez, KIDS FIRST Film Critics, age 11

 

 

Leap! is a marvelous movie that is so inspirational. It has a classic plot of a dance movie, with amazing twists that keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more. Leap! has fantastic animation and shows some of the real struggles of being a ballerina. This film shows how hard work pays off and really motivates you to work as hard as the characters in the film. I love how it has cliches, but still kept me glued and wanting to know more.

 

The storyline is about an orphan girl, Felicie (Elle Fanning) and her best friend Victor (Dane DeHaan) who escape an orphanage to pursue their dreams. Felicie’s dream is to dance and she gets her own chance to pursue that.  Along the way, she faces challenges and setbacks that help her learn about her longing to dance.

 

Something really amazing about this film is that during the group dance scenes, they only show the dancers feet, while they dance on pointe. I love it because of how in sync all the feet are and how realistic the animated ballet shoes are. The one thing I didn’t like about the movie is how old some the characters sound compared to their age. For example, Felicie is 11 years old and is voiced by Elle Fanning whose voice sounds much older. In some scenes, Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) who is much older than Felicie sounds younger than her. But, the animation is so beautifully unique and unlike anything I’ve seen in any other movie. My favorite scene is when Victor (Dane DeHaan) and Rudy (Tamir Kapelian) fight over Felicie and it turns into a very funny slap fight. My favorite character is Odette because she is the one who teaches Felicie how to dance and always believes in her no matter what happens.

 

I think there are two messages in this film.  The first is to follow your dreams because, if you can dream it, you can do it (shout out to Walt on this one). The second message is that practice makes perfect. This is what Felicie has to do in order to achieve her dream. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars because it is such a marvelous movie that I loved watching. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 because even my 17-year-old brother enjoyed it! You can find this film in a theatre near you on August 25.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

Rubio’s® Brings Sustainable Wild Alaskan Halibut to Fast Casual Available in New Two Taco Plate, Burrito and Bowl

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 Rubio’s® Restaurants, the brand known for its uniquely delicious coastal cuisine and popularizing the fish taco, has announced the addition of sustainable Wild Alaskan Halibut to its sizable selection of coastal cuisine. Rubio’s is the first fast casual restaurant chain of its size to offer this premium fish. Since Wednesday, August 2, guests are invited to try the Wild Alaskan Halibut Two Taco Plate, Burrito and Bowl in restaurants for a limited time.

I recently tried the bowl and it is delicious! And, I have to admit that I am not a big fan of halibut but this bowl was absolutely tasty!

Developed by Co-Founder Ralph Rubio and the culinary team, the new entrees feature a delicious blend of flavors with quality ingredients. Rubio’s Wild Alaskan Halibut Two Taco Plate includes sustainable Wild Alaskan Halibut, seasoned in olive oil and garlic, grilled on an authentic Comal, and served on a stone-ground corn tortilla. It is then topped with a new corn salsa made with red bell peppers, lime and agave, as well as creamy Hass avocados, crisp cabbage and Rubio’s chipotle white sauce. The Two Taco plate is also served with a side of “no-fried” pinto beans and tortilla chips. Rubio’s Wild Alaskan Halibut Burrito is filled with the flavorful grilled halibut, corn salsa, handmade guacamole, citrus rice, black beans, crisp cabbage, cilantro, onion and chipotle white sauce wrapped in a warm flour tortilla and served with a side of tortilla chips. The Bowl includes the grilled halibut, served atop a bed of citrus rice and cabbage topped with corn salsa, fresh Hass avocados, black beans, Salsa Verde and chipotle white sauce.

“At Rubio’s, we are continuously looking for innovative ways for our guests to experience seafood. This includes challenging ourselves to introduce new items like Wild Alaskan Halibut, which is a premium whitefish that’s not typically served in restaurants of our size,” said Rubio. “Wild Alaskan Halibut has a sweet, delicate flavor and firm texture that pairs beautifully with our new corn salsa.

We’re excited to add this sustainable fish to our seafood menu for the first time, and hope our guests enjoy it all summer long.”

Rubio’s has been committed to serving delicious coastal food made with quality ingredients for years, as demonstrated through the sustainable seafood found across its menu, daily handmade salsas and guacamole, and fresh produce delivered weekly. As part of the company’s “Made With a Mission”® commitment – to serve coastal food that not only tastes great, but that its guests can feel great about eating – Rubio’s is now serving all natural chicken raised without antibiotics, all natural steak, and all natural bacon with no nitrates or nitrites added, except those naturally occurring in natural ingredients, in entrees across its menu.

The company recently announced it has also removed artificial flavors and food coloring from artificial sources from its core menu. More information about Rubio’s commitment to food quality can be viewed at https://www.rubios.com/food-philosophy/made-mission.

To date, Rubio’s has sold more than 200 million Original Fish Tacos® and uses sustainable seafood in nearly all of its seafood menu items. The brand continues to expand its menu with innovative recipes, ranging from sustainable Grilled Gourmet Shrimp Tacos and Burritos to a California Bowl made with Wild-Caught Alaska Coho Salmon and a Mango Avocado Salad featuring Brown Rice & Quinoa.

For more information about Rubio’s Coastal Grill, visit www.rubios.com. Guests can also join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rubios, Twitter at www.twitter.com/rubiostweets and Instagram at www.instagram.com/rubioscoastalgrill.

About Rubio’s® Restaurants:

Rubio’s first opened in 1983, in the San Diego neighborhood of Mission Bay. Since then, Rubio’s has established a passionate fan base throughout the U.S., and has been credited with starting the fish taco phenomenon. In addition to the famed Original Fish Taco®, Rubio’s serves award-winning fish tacos made with grilled shrimp, grilled or blackened ono, Wild Alaska Coho Salmon, and other seafood. Rubio’s innovative recipes also include a variety of burritos, bowls and salads, and feature responsibly-sourced seafood, all-natural chicken and all-natural steak, along with fresh made guacamole and salsas made daily. Ranked as the “Number One Most Craveable Taco Chain” by Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics data, Rubio’s is committed to giving back to the communities it serves by sponsoring a variety of ocean-related events and organizations throughout the year. Rubio’s is headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., has over 4,000 employees and currently operates more than 200 restaurants in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Florida. For more information, visit https://www.rubios.com.

Self Disclosure: Info and Image were provided. I also received vouchers to try out the new items. 

Summer Beauty Must-Haves!

Summer is not over yet! I am really sorry to see it coming to an end! Can I have just one more month?

Here are some of my favorite to-go-to products!

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Scünci Multi-Color Soft Hosiery Head Wrap! I just love these because they do not pull on my hair!

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Conair Ultra Detangler Large Round Wood Detangling Brush

This is my new favorite hairbrush! I love how well it works with tangles! I highly recommend this one!

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If you are looking for a face care kit that really works and leaves your skin feeling softer… this one is for you! DDF Youthful Tranquility Value Kit!  My favorite is the Nourishing Eye Cream! Also included is a Cleansing Gel, a Toning Complex and a Moisturizer.  I received a Travel Set and love how soft my skin feels after using this collection.

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Philip B. Katira Hair Masque is another favorite! Actually, I love this brand of hair products! I love how soft my hair feels and this is just perfect for hair that tends to get dried out from the summer sun! These products can also be found on Amazon.com.

 

Look for all these products at retailers near you and can also be found online.

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this beauty post, Images were also provided. 

 

Summer is still here! Don’t forget the sunscreen! Playing in the Sun Doesn't Need to Mean Skin Cancer

NO-AD Kids Sun Care SPF 50 Lotion    NO-AD Sport Sun Care SPF 50 Body and Face Stick

 

Sun exposure is the biggest cause of skin cancer. Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.

Have you heard of Orlando-based NO-AD This is the sunscreen that costs less per ounce because “no advertising” means the brand doesn’t buy expensive TV, print or radio ads, passing the savings on to consumers.

I recently had the opportunity to try it and it works great! The NO-AD Suncare Kids 50 SPF is paraben free and I like that it is non-greasy and is water resistant for 80 minutes. The bottle is big too so this one will last awhile!

Here’s some helpful info from the brand:

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Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Images were also provided. 

Lily’s Driftwood Bay: Season 1 – Wonderfully Engaging and Adventurous Host, Great Messages

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Welcome to Lily’s Driftwood Bay! Lily is six years old and lives with her dad and her best friend, who is a seagull named Gull, in a little hut on the beach. Across the way is Driftwood Bay, a special island that exists in Lily’s imagination. Every day the sea washes up a new treasure which sparks Lily’s imagination about what might be happening on Driftwood Bay. Join Lily and her friends, Salty Dog, Bull, Nonna, Hatsie, Wee Rabbit and Lord Stag as they sail to Driftwood Bay where wonderful adventures await! Along with each adventure is a valuable lesson learned in each story from learning to tell the truth to saying sorry to asking for help. Embark on new adventures with Lily and friends as they travel to Driftwood Bay! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Samantha M. comments, “This creative animated series made me feel like a little kid again. Lily’s imagination is so big, and she is so creative, which is exactly how I felt when I was younger.” Jolleen M. adds, “This hilarious animated series is very educational and cute. Lily has a great heart and sets a good example for children who watch this.” KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror Rachael V. sums it up with, “One the best parts of this series is that Lily resides in a single parent home. Her father is a wonderful character and they have such a great relationship. There aren’t enough programs out there that show this type of relationship and I am very pleased to have found one.” See their full reviews below.

 

Lily’s Driftwood Bay: Season 1

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

 

 

This creative animated series made me feel like a little kid again. Lily’s imagination is so big, and she is so creative, which is exactly how I felt when I was younger. With 52 unique adventures, there is never a dull moment in each episode.
Lily (Orlagh O’ Keefe) is a 6-year-old girl who lives with her dad and a seagull on the beach. Right across from her is Driftwood Bay, an imaginary island that she has created. With each passing day, Lily finds a new object washed up on the shore. These objects give life to her Driftwood Bay imagination. Lily and her friends sail to Driftwood Bay and Lily learns valuable life lessons that keep her imagination alive.
Peter Mullan, who plays one of Lily’s friends, Salty Dog, is easily one of the funniest actors that I’ve ever seen. Mullan portrays Salty as being vulnerable, especially in the episode, “The Honking Haddock,” where Salty is unaware of his massive stench. Lily continues to tell him that he smells very bad, but Salty is clueless, which makes it hilarious. Salty is a cute Scottish dog who is the Captain of the boat that sails to Driftwood Bay and he always says, “Slippery scallions,” which is sure to make you laugh.
The animation in the series is adorable! The characters look so friendly and look as if they are drawn by little kids! Because of this, the series is more relatable and entertaining. The characters aren’t perfect and that is exactly how every person is. But, that is the beauty of life, and it is evident through Lily’s big imagination.
My favorite part of this DVD collection is when Lily asks about flowers on the beach. She loves them, but her dad has to take them to the market. She is disappointed, but he brings her a flower at the end of the day. He says, “It’s a lily for my Lily.” I love puns and sweet moments, and this scene is fortunate enough to have both.

 

The messages of the show are to be creative, enjoy your life, learn from your mistakes and be nice to everyone you meet. Aside from these major life lessons, each episode has little ones asking for help and saying they are sorry. There is always something valuable to take away from each episode. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. Check out this series on DVD. You won’t want to miss it.

 

Lily’s Driftwood Bay: Season One

By Jolleen Mejia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

 

 

 

This hilarious animated series is very educational and cute. Lily has a great heart and sets a good example for children who watch this. Lily is helpful, positive and caring to everyone no matter what. These shows teach really important morals about positivity, telling the truth and making sure you stay safe.

 

The episodes start when Lily finds some sort of weird treasure washed up on the beach. She goes to find out what it really is and what its true purpose is on Driftwood Bay, her imaginary island. She meets up with her friends on the island and some of them ask for her help. She tries to solve their problems and realizes that the tool she needs is one that she got on the shore. She realizes its purpose and learns a characteristic such as, grit, honesty, trust, forgiveness and being fair.

 

Orlagh O’Keefe voices Lily as a sweet, young and naïve girl. She sounds innocent and ready learn everything she can. Salty Dog (Peter Mullan) really does sound like an old, rusty dog who has been out on the sea for a while, but speaks English. Salty Dog sounds very old, but looks very young, which I find somewhat confusing.

 

The animation has a lot more details than most animated TV shows do. For example, they show each of the strands in the hair, their faces look very life like, especially in the way the mouths move. This animation is made with a lot of quality which I appreciate.

 

There are lots of messages in these shows. Lily models being positive, caring, helpful, staying safe and being truthful. She is a great role model for kids and this DVD about her adventures allow her to teach multiple morals in just one episode. Mainly the show educates kids about having good character and following the golden rule – be kind to others if you want them to be kind to you. Lily is kind to others, so she has a lot of good friends that stick by her side. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for children ages 5 to 8. It is available now so, go check it out.

 

Lily’s Driftwood Bay

By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult

 

I love this series! Lily is a great role model and is so creative. A good chunk of this program follows Lily finding “treasures” that have washed up on the shore and being inspired to go on adventures that are based on those items. One the best parts of this series is that Lily resides in a single parent home. Her father is a wonderful character and they have such a great relationship. There aren’t enough programs out there that show this type of relationship and I am very pleased to have found one. One of the best episodes on this DVD is called “A New Arrival.” In this episode, Lily uses some of her treasures to make a beautiful gift for the new baby lamb. Episodes like this are why I love having my son watching it. There is a lot of heart in this program and the artwork is wonderful. It’s mixed media that feels like a blend of colored pencils and water colors. I recommend this for ages 3 to 6 and give it five out of five stars. It’s available on DVD now so, look for it! You’ll be glad you did.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

Looking for a company that can personalize shirts (and even Bandanas) for an event? CustomInk has you covered!

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We recently participated in Justin Rudd’s Monthly Beach Clean up and CustomInk donated some really cool Bandanas for the pups! I loved how these came out! The pups loved them too! The quality of the bandanas are great and I really like the design. CustomInk can make a variety of different items from T-shirts to Bandanas! Check them out here.

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If you live in Long Beach or near Long Beach..you may want to participate in the monthly 30-Minute Beach Cleanup that is put on by Justin Rudd. It is held on the third Saturday of each month. My son and I love to clean Rosie’s Dog Beach but you can also clean the other side where there are no dogs! We just prefer seeing the dogs running around and having a great time at Rosie’s Dog Beach!

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Self Disclosure: I received bandanas for the pups at this event. No other compensation was received. Photo Credit: SoCal City Kids. 

 

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Travel Stories: Two new collections with 14 vivid and vibrant shades

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Adventure Land Collection: Adrenaline Crush, Beet, Pray, Love, Leaf Me Be, Red-Y Set, Run!, Sheer Happiness, Swim Upstream, Wild For Violet (shown below in order named)

  Romantic Rendezvous Collection: Cabernet With Bae, In The Sheer, Jealous Boyfriend, Love Me Lilac, Orchid-ing Aside, Proper P-rose, Shhhh-immer (shown below in order named)

I just love these shades! They are perfect for the Summer and for the upcoming Fall! I also love that the nail polish doesn’t seem to chip easily and lasts longer than many other nail polishes that I have tried. 

Retail: $9.99 each.

 

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post.