Archives for September 12, 2017

Nermal is Pet of the Week!

Nermal, September 14 Pet of the Week (1)

Except for her lovely gray coat, Nermal is about as different as she can be from her Garfield namesake. For one, she’s not an annoying pest—she’s sweet, chatty and a little shy at first. She’s also a female and only 3 years old. Although the expression on her face is one as having been caught with a paw in the treat jar, she’s very mellow and would never pull anything like that! Meet Nermal at the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A594880.

 

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

 

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

The popular Harlem Globe Trotter “Stretch” teams up with Safe Laces to keep active kids and athletes safe by helping keep their laces tied.

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Anyone who wears any type of shoe with laces knows the struggle of keeping them tied. Some days it’s just an inconvenience and other days it can become a major safety issue.  Thousands of people sustain injuries from untied shoes whether its kids on the playground, runners in a race or just everyday tasks.

Any basketball player especially a Harlem globetrotter knows all about the importance of tying your laces properly so that you don’t trip on the court. Because of this, Harlem Globetrotter Jay “Stretch” Middleton decided to team up with Safe Laces Active to help make shoe laces safer.

7-foot-4 Harlem Globetrotter Stretch Middleton shows off his ball handling skills at the Star for Hope Women & Family Emergency Shelter, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Billy Smith II) ORG XMIT: TXHOU103

7-foot-4 Harlem Globetrotter Stretch Middleton shows off his ball handling skills at the Star for Hope Women & Family Emergency Shelter, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Billy Smith II) ORG XMIT: TXHOU103

Middleton says; “Safe Lace active is the solution to a problem that we have all had to put up with until now. Safe Laces main goal is to keep as many people as we can safe from tripping and getting injured no matter what industry you are in, whether it’s exercise or competitions that you are into, a safe work environment in the industrial sector or your trying to keep your children as safe as possible, Safe Lace is for you.”

Safe Lace has been vigorously tested in all types of sports – football, basketball, tennis, soccer, golf, marathon running, gym workouts and even obstacle races. The Safe Laces were proven effective in keeping the laces tied better.

We had the opportunity to try these out and they work great! I highly recommend!

To learn more about Safe Laces active visit

www.safelaceactive.com

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Information and images were also provided. 

The SoCal City Kids Back-to-School Guide! Here are some of my favorites for this time of year!

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MOLLY’S BAKEOVERS– The Food Allergy Research Center estimates 1 in 13 United States children suffer from food allergies and some can be life-threatening. As parents pack back to school lunches, Molly’s Bakeovers is a major consideration. Mother of four, Molly Hamilton has revolutionized a packable, allergy-free snack just launched at Safeway stores across California.

Sold in three flavors, Brownie Crisps, Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Raisin, each Molly’s Bakeovers bag of cookies is egg, soy, gluten, peanut and dairy-free. 6 bags, $36.  These are delicious and I highly recommend the Brownie Crisps!

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MOZI– The Mozi toy combines the nostalgia of the slinky and a modern day spinner because it can do both. Once you create motion you can’t stop. The Mozi spins continuously from one arm to another and you can even pass it from one friend to another. It provides limitless fun and infuses engineering, science, and math into fun, everyday play. Newton would definitely be proud! Sold in three colors, silver, green and iridescent, the Mozi is the hit toy of the season. $15.99. This one really is a lot of fun!

Every Organic Snack Moms (And Dads) Should Stock Up On!

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 Launched in 2016 by Chris Clarke and Sabrina Peterson, Pure Growth Organic was created in the belief that organic snacking should be more delicious, more engaging for children and more accessible for families. As moms reach to stock up on organic snacks, Pure Growth should be at the top of their list! These are really good and would make great after school snacks!

You can find on Amazon.com, Walmart and Target retailers:

My favorites are the Crispy Rice Squares –  $2.98!   Also avail:

  • Veggie Chips – $2.87
  • Strawberry Breakfast Biscuit Bites – $2.99
  • Chocolate Chip Biscuit Bites – $2.98
  • Plus many more…

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K+ Organics – New sports drink for kids and adults!

These are sold in Southern California in Gelsons and Bristol Farms and now online and are great for after school!

K+ Organics is a new electrolyte sports drink with ONLY 14 grams of sugar per bottle (more than half of other leading brands) and no artificial preservatives, flavors, colors or sweeteners and is certified organic. They are available in three unique flavors: Fruit Punch, Orange and Lime.

This next one is great for the little ones! 

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Getting your pre-schooler ready for back to school can be fun and games! Many of the skills that are reinforced by Edushape toys can prepare your child to learn.  For example small motor skills are necessary for writing, and socialization is important in any situation.

One of the newest creations from the celebrated pre-school toy company is the new Edushape Try Angles which offer toddlers many ways to build and create.  The easy to grab pieces can fit together so many different ways that your child will feel as if he is playing with a different toy each time.

I like that these are perfect for young children ages 2-4. I like the bright colors and that the pieces are easy to fit together. I highly recommend these! Find out more here.

20 bright colored pieces come packaged in a great storage case.  SRP: $29.99

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SCHOOL’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

This is a delightful book for young children starting school! This charming picture book is all about back to school nerves, with an ironic twist from the point of view of the school itself! Written by the very witty, Adam Rex, and illustrated by Caldedcott Honoree Christian Robinson, this picture book is a New York Times bestseller, received seven starred reviews, and made Amazon’s best picture books of the year list!  I love the illustrations and highly recommend this one for children ages 4-7.

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Dr. Beaker, just in time for Back-to-School!

This is a must for children ages 8+. I like that you have to use logic for this one! This one is from Blue Orage Games and is from the makers of Dr. Eureka. You may remember, I reviewed that one in the past! This one is also a hit! I like that it is a rather fast paced game and not one that takes way too long to enjoy! It can also be played with only 2 players or up to 4. This one is great for homeschooling and I highly recommend! Look for it here.

Back-to-School Backpacks from Solo New York are a must for the Older Kids and even the College Kids!

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Solo New York has a wide variety of backpacks great for students of all ages. Solo’s sophisticated styles and abstract designs are inspired by life in New York City and will stand out in both design and function.

I love the Bridge Design packpack we received and it’s cool enough for my teenage son!

Check out all their different styles here!

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Back-to-School usually means time to make school lunches and more sandwiches. Here’s a healthier Bread!

Barely Bread replaces wheat with a blend of almond, seed and coconut flours.  It’s the perfect mix of health benefits, texture and taste from spiced and seeded loaves, baguettes, bagels, and rolls.  Gluten-free, kosher, non-GMO, and Paleo-approved, these breads are guilty-free and delicious.

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This bread is delicious and it’s healthier!

Nocciolata Dairy FreeNocciolata

This next one is great on toast and equals a healthy, quick breakfast! Great for those school mornings that you are in a hurry! 

Rigoni di Asiago’s newest product, Nocciolata Dairy Free, has also recently won FOUR prestigious food awards:

 

  • Delicious Living magazine’s Best Bite Awards: Best Spread
  • Specialty Food Associations sofi™ Awards: Best New Product, Nut/Seed Butter Category
  • Italian Food Awards USA 2017: Sweets & Confectionary Award
  • Italian Food Awards USA 2017: Special Award for Sustainability

Made with organic ingredients completely free of GMO’s, preservatives, colors, additives, or artificial sweeteners, Nocciolata Dairy Free combines hazelnuts, fair trade cocoa and cocoa butter, natural vanilla extract, and raw cane sugar for a chocolate-hazelnut spread with undeniably superior flavor. Nocciolata Dairy Free is certified vegan, organic, and made with environmentally-responsible cold-pressed sunflower oil. It also contains far less sugar than other brands and is free from hydrogenated fats.

I love that it tastes great and is a hit in my house! This one is even a hit with picky eaters! 

Here’s a quick recipe for after school:

1.       Spread Nocciolata Dairy Free (organic chocolate hazelnut spread) on apple slices

2.       Sprinkle with your favorite healthy toppings such as chopped nuts, seeds, cocoa nibs, shredded coconut, dried cranberries and/or raisins

3.       Freeze and enjoy later!

Do you homeschool? And, even if you don’t! Your older kids will love this!

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There are all kinds of monthly subscriptions out there but I really like this one! we received a sample kit and were able to make a Mood Lamp! Creation Crate (https://www.creationcrate.com), is a subscription box service aimed at ages 12 and up, that helps kids learn to build real-world electronics. My son likes this one because it is for older kids/teens. The Creation Crate curriculum focuses on introducing new concepts every month that build on the concepts learned from the months before. The projects are designed to increase in difficulty each month in order to be fluent in the language of technology by the end of the 24 month curriculum. Projects range from building a mood lamp, to a memory game focused on programming, to learning how to input a distance reading from an ultrasonic sensor.

Unlike other technology subscription boxes, Creation Crate uses raw electronic components, offering real-world skills. These boxes are also truly beginner friendly with no previous experience needed. While other boxes teach using intimidating technical lingo, Creation Crate doesn’t. Creation Crate subscriptions start at $30 a month, with available 3, 6 or 12 month packages to choose from.

I suggested for homeschooling because I am a homeschool mom of a soon to be 14-year-old. I think these are great and so much more fun than textbooks! But, I would recommend this for all older kids 12+!

Back- to- School with Garden Lites!

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Garden Lites®, the delicious vegetable company, debuts three new products along with their current veggie-rick line that are destined to be the hottest nutritional powerhouse in your Back to School arsenal ever. We know getting your family to eat their recommended daily amount of vegetables a day is daunting. Garden Lites® wants to get your family hooked on veggies – with their delicious, freshly frozen products that are veggie-rich. New to market, Garden Lites® debuts scrumptious and nutritious foods nationally in Target Stores: Garden Lites Superfood Veggie Cakes in two flavors – Superfood Blend and Kale & Quinoa. Also, their best-selling veggie-rich and Gluten Free line of muffins are now available nationally and at Target Stores.

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All Garden Lites® products are rich in vegetables, with vegetables ALWAYS the first ingredients; high in fiber; low in calories and packed with plenty of superfoods in each product in a convenient, portable and quick and easy package.   They come frozen and can be defrosted in minutes in the microwave or oven for your everyday meals, from lunch to snacks to dinnertime. When you pack these delicious, nutritious products in your kids’ lunch box or serve as convenient after-school snacks, you will feel good about feeding your family their daily dose of veggies!

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You’ll never believe the first ingredient in Garden Lites® Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins is zucchini! Heat in the microwave to enjoy a deliciously rich experience for only 120 calories. Garden Lites® Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are non-GMO, deliciously moist and a great source of fiber. Also, Allergy-friendly! Gluten, dairy & nut free.

I am still on the lookout for the Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins! But, I loved the Veggie Chili and Cornbread!

As a Homeschool Mom, coffee every morning is a priority on my list!

Melitta - Signature Series Pour-Over Coffeemakers - Tritan Red[11][2]

Melitta Coffee is one of my favorites! They have the best Caramel Macchiato coffee and it’s perfect with their Signature Series Porcelain Pour-Over Coffeemaker! What I love about this is it is also a great-to-go product when I have to go off to work! It’s super easy to use and easy to clean! It’s a real must for the school year!  It retails for $19.99. Check out Melitta here!

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This one is great for teenagers! Tags 2.0 – Wireless Earbuds are a must this school year! They are available in black or red. The sound is amazing and I highly recommend! They retail for $39.95 and can be found at Outdoor Tech.

 

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Images were also provided. The quick recipe was also included for posting purposes. 

Tips and Tricks on Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night! From our friends at Go Organically Fruit Snacks!

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Still enjoying the last days of Summer?  Go Organically Fruit Snacks has a perfect idea (and great tips and tricks) – host your own movie night, and switch it up by having it outside!

Host an Outdoor Movie Night

There’s something so magical about watching a movie under the stars—and summer is the perfect time to do it! So round up the kids, grab your friends, and get ready to enjoy some food, fun and flicks in your very own backyard cinema.

1.Prepare Your Backyard Theater

First, the logistics. Scout the perfect spot to show your movie and gather up the proper equipment. You’ll need three basic things: a projector, a screen, and a laptop with speakers.

  • Projector: Buy, rent or borrow a movie projector with HDMI connectivity. Ideally, you’ll want one that is rated 2,000+ lumens for proper brightness. Prices range widely for projectors, but you can snag one online for as little as $100.
  • Screen: You’ll need a smooth, flat surface on which to project your movie. You can go simple (the side of your house or a doubled up white sheet hung from a clothesline) to more deluxe (a souped-up DIY screen that you build yourself, or an inflatable or foldable screen that you buy or rent). The choice is yours!
  • Laptop with speakers: You’ll need a laptop that plays DVDs (preferably Blu-ray) along with plug-in, portable speakers.

2.Pick the Right Movie

Choose a family-friendly, age appropriate flick that benefits from a “big screen” format. A few of our favorite picks across different categories.

  • Recent Animated Movies: Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets, Trolls, Zootopia
  • Live Action Fairytales: Maleficent, The Princess Bride, Enchanted, Beauty and the Beast
  • Hollywood Classics: E.T., The Karate Kid, Star Wars, Harry Potter

3.Set the Scene

Add some drama with details and décor to fit the theme. Remember: you can go as simple or as elaborate as you’d like depending on your schedule, budget or level of craftiness. Either way, your event will be a smash hit!

  • Invitations: Send invitations that double as “tickets” that can be collected as guests arrive.
  • Seating: Pepper your lawn with blankets, pillows, and a few low-back beach chairs for comfy seating options. If you’re feeling especially creative, build “cars” out of cardboard boxes so that the littlest movie-goers can have a drive-in experience.
  • Decorations: Hang paper lanterns from the trees or string up twinkly lights to illuminate walkways. Have the kids make a giant poster board sign welcoming everybody to your family “theater.”
  • Accessories: Hand out festive glow necklaces and bracelets to the kiddos to help them navigate in the dark. Put out some potted citronella plants and have natural bug repellent on hand in case mosquitoes try to crash your party.

4.Serve Cinema Snacks

It wouldn’t be a movie without the snacks, now would it? We say resist the urge to grill or cook, and keep it simple with easy-grab, concession-style munchies both kids and adults will love.

  • Popcorn: We love the look of an old-fashioned popcorn machine. You can buy one quite reasonably nowadays, or even rent one from a local vendor. Alternatively, simply make some microwave popcorn and serve it in individual red-and-white striped popcorn boxes or bags. Try a sweet-meets-salty flavor combination by mixing popcorn with Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks.
  • Concession Stand: Set up a table off to the side to serve as a concession stand for drinks, candy and other snacks. Serve organic juice boxes and water for the kids and a variety of beverages for grownups.
  • Snack Trays: In lieu of a concession stand, make individual snack trays for each moviegoer using plastic bento boxes or dollar store shower caddies. Fill the largest compartment with popcorn and the small compartments with convenient single-serve snacks, such as gluten free fruit snacks from Go Organically.

Enjoy the show!

 

Self Disclosure: I received my own Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks to facilitate this post. Tips and Image were also provided. 

When’s My Birthday?

When's My Birthday Cover

NEW definitive birthday book for kids. Illustrated by Caldecott honoree and New York Times bestselling illustrator Christian Robinson, WHEN’S MY BIRTHDAY? is a boisterous celebration of everything that is wonderful about birthdays.
 
WHEN’S MY BIRTHDAY? has an updated concept that focuses on the idea of patience for youngsters who simply can’t wait for their next birthday, complimented by Christian’s energetic art that kids will relate to.
This is a delightful book for young children! They will love the illustrations and I highly recommend it!
Look for it on Amazon.com.
We have teamed up for a Giveaway! One winner will win a book! To enter, leave a comment below! Deadline to enter is September 16th, 2017 at noon PST. U.S. Residents only please.
Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book to participate in this book blog tour.

Matthew McConaughey helps Kiehl’s raise Autism Awareness; Project benefits Autism Speaks

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Kiehl’s Since 1851, the 166-year-old skincare company, announced that it will partner with Academy Award-Winning actor Matthew McConaughey for its 2017 Global Philanthropic Program to benefit Autism Speaks. The partnership will include a social awareness initiative and the release of the Kiehl’s x Matthew McConaughey Limited Edition Ultra Facial Cream, a limited-edition version of one of the company’s most beloved products.

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a developmental condition, is a global issue that affects over 1% of the world’s population. Notably, more children than ever before are being diagnosed with ASD. It is estimated that 1 in every 68 children is diagnosed with autism in the United States (and 1 in every 42 boys). In uniting these three forces – Kiehl’s, Autism Speaks and Matthew McConaughey – the campaign will raise awareness for autism, and work to change the future for children who struggle with the condition.

 

“Autism affects an estimated 70 million people worldwide, and many of the students enrolled in my just keep livin after school programs are on the autism spectrum.  I’ve witnessed firsthand the effects of autism, not only on the child, but on their families as well,” said McConaughey“I’m humbled to collaborate with Kiehl’s and Autism Speaks to help provide early diagnosis and services for these incredible children and families, making a lifetime of difference.”

Hear from McConaughey and check out the video here:  https://www.instagram.com/p/BYqRiJuljZT/?taken-by=kiehls

We are grateful to Kiehl’s and Matthew McConaughey for their commitment to supporting the global autism community,” said Angela Geiger, president and CEO of Autism Speaks. “Partnerships like this help Autism Speaks deliver on its mission to promote solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families across the spectrum and throughout their lives.”

 

The Kiehl’s x Matthew McConaughey Limited Edition Ultra Facial Cream will be decorated with one-of-a-kind packaging created by the actor.  McConaughey’s vibrant design features uplifting colors and geometric shapes, including interlocking puzzle pieces – a nod to the iconic Autism Speaks blue puzzle piece.  The awareness campaign launching in tandem with the moisturizer will feature a short video of McConaughey as a call to get people talking about autism.  For every video share Kiehl’s will donate $1 to its Autism Speaks Campaign.[1]

 

I received a sample of the Ultra Facial Cream and I really love it! I like that it hydrates my skin and that only a small amount is needed! It also is not greasy and it is one of my new favorite to-go-to beauty products!

 SRP: $47.50 4.2 oz.

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post. Information and images were also provided. 

About Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey is an award winning American actor and philanthropist. McConaughey was first recognized for his breakout role in Dazed and Confused (1993) and is best known for his Academy Award winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club (2013). McConaughey and his wife Camila Alves are both passionate about philanthropy, and together they founded the just keep livin foundation, a non-profit foundation committed to the health and well-being of youth in local communities.

 

About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. We empower people with autism and their families with resources, online tools and information covering the life span. Go to AutismSpeaks.org to learn more, donate or join a fundraising walk

 

About Kiehl’s:

Kiehl’s was founded as an old-world apothecary in New York’s East Village neighborhood. Its unique, extensive background represents a blend of cosmetic, pharmaceutical, herbal, and medicinal knowledge developed and advanced through the generations. In addition to Kiehl’s freestanding stores nationwide, Kiehl’s products are available at www.Kiehls.com, by mail order at 1-800-KIEHLS-2 as well as through select specialty retailers worldwide. For additional information on Kiehl’s since 1851, visit kiehls.com.