Archives for December 2017

Beauty Stocking Stuffers!

Savor Skin With Treets Traditions Body Oils!

          

Treets Traditions collection of body oils comfort tired and parched skin for effortless nourishment. Featuring a unique blend of herbs our ancestors passed down through generations to provide healing and nurturing, Treets Traditions body oils help rejuvenate and restore dull winter skin.

Treets Traditions – Relaxing Chakra’s Body Oil

This super caring vitamin E enriched body oil glides on seamlessly for soft and smooth skin all day long. Rose, Frangipani, Coconut and Rice Bran awaken the senses and rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. Developed with extracts and oils from flowers and plants, this collection leaves behind a lovely, sweet, floral scent.

Price: $15.00 /Availabilitywww.ulta.com

Treets Traditions Nourishing Spirits Miracle Oil

Made for face, hair, body, hands and nails with 6 precious oils including Baobab and Marula, this Miracle Oil nourishes dehydrated skin, and improves the appearance and feel of aged or damaged skin and hair. Infused with Vitamin E, you can use this oil from head to toe for soft, skin, hair and nails.

Price: $26.00 /  Availability: www.ulta.com

Treets Traditions – Revitalising Ceremonies Massage Oil

Inspired by the therapeutic ceremonial herbal steam rooms, salt and mineral baths from the North. Incorporated with eucalyptus, wild thyme, and cranberry with volcanic minerals for clean and soft skin, this massage oil absorbs slowly and evenly. Containing natural oils, vitamin C, and vitamin E, this oil is free of SLS, parabens, colorants, and mineral oils for healthy and hydrated skin.

Price: $15.00 /Availabilitywww.ulta.com

PUR attitude for the holidays!

(Featured above: PUR attitude Love Your Body Gift Set—includes: Caviar Anti-Aging Hair Shampoo, Caviar Anti-Aging Hair Conditioner, Foaming Bamboo Almond Scrub)

The Caviar Anti-Aging Shampoo is a low lather,sulfate-free shampoo with caviar extract that helps to restore moisture into dull and lifeless hair. I like how well it cleans and it smells good too! It works great with the Caviar Anti-Aging Conditioner. And, my favorite is the Foaming Bamboo Almond Scrub. This one is deep cleansing and is great for dry skin.

Find out more at https://purattitude.com/

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

It’s time for Holiday Gift Suggestions! This week: The HP Sprocket 2-in-1, the evevu CUBE, Grow Love with Me by Yoko Ono and more!

         

Is there someone on your gift shopping list that loves to take photos? They will love the HP Sprocket 2-in-1! I don’t leave home for events without it! I absolutely love it because it’s easy to use, completely small and easy to take on the go and it is so easy to print from social media. You simply connect your social media accounts to the HP Sprocket app and you’re good to go! Instant printing your photos into great prints! I love that it is a pocket-sized printer and a 5 MP Camera. It’s light-weight and compact and the paper is really easy to load too! You simply open the top of the printer, drop the paper in, and start printing! The HP Sprocket App is pretty cool too! You can customize your photos before you print and even add text and emojis. Now, how cool is that?!

 

Here’s what’s included with the HP Sprocket 2-in-1:

  • HP Sprocket Photo Printer
  • USB cable, wriststrap
  • HP ZINK Sticky-Backed photo paper (10-sheets)
  • Warranty sheet
  • Regulatory sheet

You can find it at http://bit.ly/sprocket2in1bestbuy

Self Disclosure: I participated in a sponsored opportunity with MomSelect and HP and received a HP Sprocket 2-in-1 to facilitate this post. Other compensation may have been received but any opinions expressed are my own. 

Another great gift for kids this holiday season is the evevu CUBE!

The evevu CUBE is an amazing little multi-use light that shines brighter than you’d expect from its size. The CUBE is powerful enough to light up an entire room yet small enough to fit in any pocket. It’s actually pretty cool! I like that it can be used as a Reading light, night light, or can be even used on camping trips. This one really is quite unique and would make a great stocking stuffer this holiday season! The CUBE has three settings of brightness.  It has a setting that runs through every color in the rainbow (this is my personal favorite) and when you find one you like you can set that color. It also has an emergency flash setting.  The CUBE has a hidden “hook” so it can be carried or hung upside down.

Here’s the website for more info https://www.enevu.com/

Self Disclosure: I received a free product to feature in this holiday gift guide.

This next one will be a hit with loved ones!

Yoko Ono’s ‘Grow Love with Me’ is another really unique gift idea!

Because you can never have enough love, Yoko Ono designed this uplifting and magical bean plant for her friends at LongHouse.

The directions are simple and when followed to a T, your plant will emerge within 5-7 days. Once your bean sheds its brown shell, ½ reads the word “Love”, the other half is inscribed with a heart that has an arrow going through it. All this delightful bean on a vine requires is a minimum room temperature of 68 degrees and daylight so it’s ideal for those who are rarely home.

I received one of these amazing bean plants and now I want to buy one for everyone I love! I don’t have a green thumb so I’m thrilled that this one is an non-complicated plant!

Charming and inspiring, Grow Love with Me by Yoko Ono is a perfect and unique gift!

Purchase Link: https://www.longhouse.org/products/yoko-ono-grow-love-with-me-bean

Price: $15 USD

About LongHouse Reserve 
LongHouse Reserve exemplifies living with art in all forms. Founded by Jack Lenor Larsen, its collections, gardens, sculpture and programs reflect world cultures and inspire a creative life. LongHouse Reserve is a 16 acre reserve and sculpture garden located in East Hampton, NY, featuring pieces from Buckminster Fuller, Yoko Ono and William de Kooning to name a few.

Self Disclosure: I received a free product to facilitate this post. An image was provided for my use.

Doggy Desserts: 125 Homemade Treats for Happy, Healthy Dogs by Cheryl Gianfrancesco is a Must-Buy this Holiday!

Are you baking cookies this holiday season? How about making some delicious treats for your pups? Doggy Desserts: 125 Homemade Treats for Happy, Healthy Dogs is a must-buy! I am looking forward to using it next week to bake some yummy cookies for the special dogs in our life. I love this book because it has some really great recipes and you do not have to go out and find complicated ingredients. Two of the recipes I am looking forward to making this holiday season are the My Honey Boy Bones and the Peanut Butter Banana Cookies.

For dog owners who are concerned about controlling what’s in their dogs’ food or who are looking to find low-cal, low-fat options for their slightly plump pups, Doggy Desserts provides many tasty options. From carob peanut butter crunch balls, sweet potato biscuits and liver oatmeal bones to granola bars, applesauce spice cake, and watermelon dog sherbet, owners will be tempted to try each of these delectable delights before serving to their dogs.

      

Here’s a great one in the book:

Oatmeal and Cheese Bones

1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked

4 Tbsp vegetable oil

11⁄3 cups water

1⁄2 cup powdered skim milk

1⁄2 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

1 egg

1 cup cornmeal

1⁄2 cup wheat germ

3 1⁄2 cups whole wheat flour

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients. Knead the dough on a floured surface. Roll out the dough to 1⁄2-inch thickness, and cut out shapes with a dog bone cookie cutter. Put the cookies on a baking sheet, 1⁄2 inch apart. Bake at 300 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. When done, the cookies should be firm to the touch. Turn the oven off, and leave the cookies in for 1 to 2 hours to harden.

Yield: Approximately 100 two-inch cookies.

Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to facilitate this post. Images and recipe were provided.

Shooby Dooby Down to Ruby’s Diner for Breakfast with Santa December 17

WHO:
Ruby’s Diner Laguna Hills

WHAT:

Shooby Dooby down to Ruby’s Diner on Sunday, December 17 for a very special breakfast with Santa. Guests ages 12 and under can enjoy a pancake breakfast special for $9.99 that includes a holiday photo with Santa afterwards.

WHERE:

Ruby’s Diner Laguna Hills
24155 Laguna Hills Mall #1636, Laguna Hills, CA

 WHEN:

Sunday, December 17
10 a.m.-1 p.m.

CONTACT:

Visit https://www.rubys.com/ and contact (949) 588-7829.

Self Disclosure: Information was provided by Ruby’s Diner. No compensation was received.

Dolly Parton’s First Children’s Album ‘I Believe In You’ Proceeds to Benefit Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s first children’s album was released nationwide this past October. All 14 tracks on I Believe In You were written and performed by Dolly Parton.

“My first album was released 50 years ago and it’s been an amazing 50 years since then. I am very excited that now I’m coming out with my first children’s album in all of those 50 years. I’m proudest of all that all of the proceeds from this CD will go to the Imagination Library,” Dolly said. “It’s been 20 years since the Imagination Library was launched. We’ve seen 100million books get into the hands of children and hopefully, there will be many more.”

Since its beginning in 1996 in Dolly’s hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, the Imagination Library has expanded into four countries serving more than one-million children by providing a brand new, age-appropriate book each month. In North America, every child’s first book is the classic Little Engine that Could.

I previously received a copy of the CD and was impressed! I think young children will love this album!

ABOUT DOLLY PARTON
Dolly Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach #1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career-charted singles over the past 40 years. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, paid digital downloads and compilation usage during her Hall of Fame career have reportedly topped a staggering 100 million records – which includes sales of her 2016 chart-topping disc Pure & Simple, her first number one album on the Billboard Country Album charts in twenty-five years. She has garnered eight Grammy Awards – including a 2017 win with Pentatonix in the Country Duo/Group Performance category for their collaboration on her iconic 1973 hit “Jolene” – 10 Country Music Association Awards, five Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award. In 1999 Parton was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and became a member of the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. Broadcast Music Inc. honored Parton with their Icon Award in 2003, and in 2004 the U.S. Library of Congress presented her with their Living Legend Award for her contribution to the cultural heritage of the United States. This was followed in 2005 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given by the U.S. government for excellence in the arts. The honors keep coming. The 2016 made for television movie, Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love is nominated in the “Television Movie” category for the 69th Annual Emmy Awards. The film also won in the TV and Cable category at the 68th Annual Christopher Awards, which also includes the Movieguide Epiphany Prize for Television. The film served as the follow-up to her highly rated 2015 film Coat Of Many Colors, also broadcast on NBC, which won the Academy of Country Music’s Tex Ritter Award. In 2017, Dolly will release “I Believe In You,” a collection of children’s songs on Dolly Records through her partnership with Sony Music Nashville.

ABOUT DOLLY PARTON’S IMAGINATION LIBRARY:
Founded in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting organization that has, to date, mailed more than 100 million books to children in Australia, Belize, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. Each month, the program currently mails more than one million specially selected, high-quality, age-appropriate books to registered children from birth until they start Kindergarten in participating communities. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading in children, preparing them for school and inspiring them to dream. Recent studies suggest participation in the Imagination Library is positively and significantly associated with higher measures of early language and math development. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Self Disclosure: I received a free CD to facilitate this post. Images and information were also provided.

It’s still not too late to order Photo Cards! Walmart and Hallmark have you covered! Hallmark’s collection of Holiday photo cards are available on Walmart Photo!

It’s not too late to get out Holiday cards! With the help of Walmart Photo and Hallmark, you can get your cards done super quick! All of Hallmark’s exclusive designs are located here.  I love all the designs this year and what I really like is there are so many different options. You can order online and pick up the same day! I like the variety of designs available. I’ve always been a big fan or Hallmark and I wanted to create a card from our pets this year and found the perfect one! I simply created in online on Walmart.com and picked the cards up the next day since I wasn’t in a hurry! There are also other great photo gifts that you can create online such as Mugs, Calendars, and Mouse Pads so check out Walmart photo this holiday season. Yes! That’s my dog on that mug! I just had to get something for myself this holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

Self Disclosure: I am a #LoveHallmark Member and received a free gift card to purchase the holiday photo cards. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Just as Mind-Boggling As The Others!

Following the events of The Force Awakens, Rey begins her Jedi training under Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled about Rey’s immense strength with the Force. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to continue the fight against the First Order, which is led by Kylo Ren and the mysterious Snoke. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Michelle C. comments, “…my only hope was that Star Wars: The Last Jedi would be just as mind-boggling as the others. Shame on me for ever doubting the legendary billion-dollar franchise, because (spoiler alert): It is!” Arjun N. adds, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi lives up to the hype because of its wonderful story and action. The acting has never been better for the series. This is sure to be a hit for all Star Wars fans.” Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror, wraps it up with, “Loyal audiences won’t be disappointed! From the traditional opening scroll to the non-stop, action-packed 2:32 hours of characters new, known and loved, writer-director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is fantastic.” See their full reviews below.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

By Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi lives up to the hype because of its wonderful story and action. The acting has never been better for the series. This is sure to be a hit for all Star Wars fans.

The story follows the events set in place after Star Wars: The Force Awakens when Rey (Daisy Ridley) turns to the legendary Jedi, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), for help to turn the tide of the desperate battle between the Resistance and the First Order. However, Luke has lost all hope after his failure of letting Ben Solo (Adam Driver) become Kylo Ren. While trying to convince Luke, Rey further learns to control her ties with the Force, while learning mysteries of the past. Meanwhile, the First Order learns an advanced battle tactic that could destroy the Resistance under Leia (Carrie Fisher). This leads to a newly awakened Finn (John Boyega) forming an unlikely team with the smart Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and the determined Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), to save the Resistance.

Daisy Ridley, as Rey, excellently presents her newly learned powers and her inner battle between the light and the dark side as her character progresses to become an epic hero, like Luke. Mark Hamill, as Luke Skywalker, is the highlight of the movie and he is also my favorite character, due to his long-awaited return as the character, which delivers on all grounds. He delivers a more brooding edge to character as a hopeless Jedi who is adamant on his choices. Adam Driver, as Kylo Ren, is an incredible villain with well-developed motives, as you can feel his inner conflict with the Dark Side. Carrie Fisher, as Leia, delivers an impressive posthumous performance as the tactical leader of the Resistance. Her character is also tied up in a way that respects the actor. John Boyega, as Finn, delivers an excellent performance as his character stops being a coward and transforms into a brave rebel for the Resistance. Kelly Marie Tran, as Rose, is smart and resourceful in her team up with Finn. Oscar Isaac, as Poe Dameron, is a true maverick who refuses to follow orders for the safety of people.

Rian Johnson wonderful directs every scenic location, whether it is from the desolate ship of the First Order to the abandoned, yet beautiful landscapes of Crait. My favorite scene is the one  where a certain choice must be made, on the side of Kylo to Rey. My only problem with this movie is that, while the perfomances between Finn and Rose are superb, their subplot drags the movie in a slower middle act. However, this a short part of a long movie is full of story and battles.

The message of the movie is about finding hope. The Resistance is put through extreme threats from the First Order, but they find a way to battle it with hope. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 because of its intense action. The movie releases in theaters on December 15, 2017, so check it out.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

By Michelle C., KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 19

As I sat back in the comfy leather seats and watched the star-dusted opening credits roll out in front of me, I reminisced about what it felt like watching the Star Wars series for the first time. It has been a long time since that happened and my only hope was that Star Wars: The Last Jedi would be just as mind-boggling as the others. Shame on me for ever doubting the legendary billion-dollar franchise, because (spoiler alert): It is!

If you haven’t seen the previous installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, then I highly recommend you grab some friends to watch it with and get yourself back on track. Otherwise, you will be in for a big surprise. For those who have seen it, then you know that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) makes an iconic return to the big screen and this time, with a vengeance. Luke went into hiding, undetected, to the Porg-infested island of Ahch-To to die. Rey (Daisy Ridley) has a mission to bring Luke back to fight the Resistance as war is once again brewing against the First Order. Millions of porg-encounters later, Rey finally persuades Luke to lend her his knowledge in combat, leaving Luke unsettled by the strength of her powers.

This time around, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) leads the Resistance due to unforeseen circumstances. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Holdo go head to head as he refuses to follow Holdo’s rules. This creates major conflict in the storyline, as some things don’t necessarily go as planned during combat. We are also introduced to a new lead character, Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), a maintenance worker that guards the escape pods. She bonds with Finn (John Boyega) as she takes him to her wealthy home of Canto Bight. Though, there’s so much more to this planet than meets the eye.

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) remains high and mighty, just for show. It’s evident that he hides something deep within, something he cannot control – a slight hint of compassion. After a head-to-head conflict with Rey and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), the film finally reveals who he truly is.

Now that you have an idea of what the film is about, let’s talk about the magic that goes on behind-the-scenes. To be quite honest, the writing has its lows. There are moments when the audience would let out an uncomfortable laugh due to the awkward, juvenile jokes that we know certain characters would never say or do. It felt somewhat out-of-touch with the Star Wars franchise, especially since they are thrown in during the most serious, suspenseful scenes.  Despite that, the rest of the screenplay is groundbreaking. It gives the audience what they want and what they didn’t know they needed. Also, the cinematography is phenomenal. Shooting in locations such as Ireland and Croatia, the visual effects team make it seem as though they are off in a galaxy far, far away, without straying from its natural beauty. Special effects, as always, are mind-blowing. It’s nearly impossible not to fathom lightsabers being real. Top it all off with detailed costume design and award-winning acting, and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece.

Ultimately, Star Wars: The Last Jedi exceeded far beyond my expectations, and I urge you to go out with your Jedi Knight robes and lightsabers and experience it on the big screen. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18 as well as adults. It opens December 15, 2017 in U.S. theaters so, go check it out.

Stars Wars: The Last Jedi

By Kimbirly O. KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Loyal audiences won’t be disappointed! From the traditional opening scroll to the non-stop, action-packed 2:32 hours of characters new, known and loved, writer-director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is fantastic. As I watched the film, I thought about the yeoman’s task to step into George Lucas’ world, filled with beloved characters, and continuing the tale between good and evil, light and dark, all within The Force. After all, Johnson is known for film shorts and episodic television, not movie studio franchise blockbusters.

When we first see our hero, Luke, (Mark Hamill) I could not help but consider, “if Skywalker lives, hope lives.” Hope is a central theme of this film and is voiced several times by Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega). Only Poe (Oscar Isaac) seems to have a less than optimistic view of the tasks at hand.

Rey demands Luke teach her the Jedi ways. She delivers Darth Vader’s lightsaber to him almost as an offering. Luke declines to show her the Jedi religion telling her there are no more Jedi’s. As he painfully explains the path his nephew, Ben Solo (Adam Driver) took from light, as a Jedi trainee, to dark as Kylo Ren, the pain is palpable. As Yoda later reminds us, “The greatest teacher is failure.”

Carrie Fisher’s final performance as Princess Leia is compelling and often funny. She reminds many crew members, “May The Force Be With You” often. At one point, her admonition to Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) is funny. In fact, there are many humorous bits within the film, humanizing the war among the worlds and battles within deep space. When we meet the Porgs, I laughed aloud at their antics, especially when they take flight with Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). The lessons in the film, spoken by various characters are impactful. My favorite is “saving what we love is the only way we fight hate.”

Given the performances of the young actors, and possibilities at the end of the film, I wonder, can this story go on forever? As Luke aptly reminds us, “no one is ever really gone”. Thank you, Luke. May we all know peace and purpose. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 as well as adults. Some battle scenes could be too intense for younger children.

 

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

 

Lifesaving holiday gifts for under $10! Great Stocking Stuffers!

The full line of products from the professional safety company resqme, Inc. provide lifesaving solutions in different emergency situations. These four smart safety tools retail for $9.95 and are a must-have to keep the family safe on and off the road.

resqme-top-view-800-600x600

 

 

The resqme® is made in the USA and is the original 2-in-1 car escape tool which cuts jammed seatbelts and breaks side windows. Small enough to put on a keychain yet powerful, it comes in 6 trendy colors. A thoughtful gift for every driver.

More information on the resqme® tool here.

 

 

DEFENDME%20ALARM%202

The defendme® is a sleek personal safety alarm. The 120dB siren will quickly attract attention in an emergency situation. Easy to carry and use, it is a great present for students, women, active people and the elderly. I really love this one! I think that everyone should have one! This one is easy to use and small and compact and easy to take with you where ever you go!

 

More information on the defendme® tool here.

 

ALERTME REFLECTION_2

 

alertme® is a drowsy driver device. Lightweight and the size of a bluetooth earpiece, alertme® is motion-activated to prevent drivers from falling asleep. A perfect gift for long-distance drivers and nighttime workers.

More information on the alertme® tool here.

 

 

PROTECTME BLACK FUCHSIA

 

protectme® is a maximum strength pepper spray to use as self-defense. The attacker will be incapacitated up to one hour after being sprayed in the face. Protectme® performs 25 bursts up to 10 feet. Available in black and pink, it is an ideal gift for women and students. This is another favorite of mine and think that every woman should have one!

More information on the protectme® tool here.

To learn more about resqme, Inc., visit www.resqme.com

All of these items would make great holiday gift ideas and would be perfect to put in a stocking!

Self Disclosure: I received free products to check out and to facilitate this post. Images and information were also provided. Any opinions expressed are my own and I highly recommend these products.