Archives for January 2014

Shutterfly for Valentine’s Day! The best Valentine's Day Cards & Gifts!

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Can you believe that it is the last day of January? I really don’t think I can! But, I do love the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday! it truly is one of my favorite days! It’s time to start looking for those Valentine’s Day cards and gifts and Shutterfly has you covered!

It’s that time of year to appreciate and tell those who are special to you that you love them! A great way to do that is with personalized cards or gifts from Shutterfly!
I had the opportunity to create Kid’s Valentine’s Day cards with my son and personalize a Notepad and Mug too. My son quickly chose the cool You’ve Got Game Valentine’s Day cards and is thrilled with how they turned out! He can’t wait to give them out because he says “They are just really cool!” I was thrilled about all the different choices that they have! I also love all the Notepad and Mug choices and was impressed with how they shipped the Mug and that they offer different sizes too. I received the 15 oz mug and am delighted with it! The Notepad and Mug would also make a great gift for Teachers this Valentine’s Day!  There are just so many great gifts to choose from at Shutterfly!

We have teamed up with our friends at Shutterfly! You don’t want to miss this  Valentine’s Day Giveaway! You will win a set of Valentine’s Day Cards (25 Kid’s cards), a Mug and Notepad!  Don’t forget you must be a subscriber to enter! Next, leave us a comment below telling us your favorite thing or your child’s favorite thing about Valentine’s day! Deadline to enter is February 4th, 2014 12 pm. One winner will randomly be selected from all entries.

Giveaway has ended!

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Self Disclosure: I received compensation by receiving products to facilitate this review/giveaway but opinions are my own.

Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series BP5K Digital Blood Pressure Monitor with Voice-Guided Operation & Intelligent Hypertension Indicator

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I have high blood pressure but it is controlled with medication and so I was excited about receiving the Ozeri CardioTech Pro Series BP5K Digital Blood Pressure Monitor with Voice-Guided Operation & Intelligent Hypertension Indicator to try out for myself! I really love this Blood Pressure Monitor! What I like best is that it is very accurate. It’s also easy to use and I not only see my results, I can hear them as well. It can easily be used by two people in the same household since it will store readings for two individuals. Now, that is a real plus! I have tried various blood pressure monitors over the past few years and this really is my favorite so far. I really didn’t find anything that I didn’t like about it! It also comes in a handy plastic carrying case, which I can easily put in my purse. I highly recommend this product! It really is a must-have, especially those who have high blood pressure or those who are keeping track of their blood pressure. You can find it on Amazon and Sears. Also, find Ozeri on Facebook!

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Self Disclosure: I received this product from Ozeri to facilitate this review but any opinions expressed are my own.

 

Let’s Get Ready for Super Bowl! FoodSafety.gov highlights the FOUR SIMPLE STEPS TO FOOD SAFETY

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No doubt about it! Super Bowl is a time for yummy foods, hosting a party or attending a party or BBQ. But, food safety is also something to keep in mind! I’m actually making Tacos and yummy chili! I can’t wait for the fun day even though my favorite teams aren’t playing this year. 😉 What are your favorite dishes? Leave a comment below telling us! We would love to hear!

But, also keep in mind When planning your game menu, it’s important to remember that Super Bowl parties often involve finger foods, a lot of people sharing communal dishes and treats that are left out for long period of time—all which can be a recipe for disaster. The Food Safe Families campaign is offering tips on FoodSafety.gov to help you throw a winning Super Bowl Party.

 

FoodSafety.gov highlights the FOUR SIMPLE STEPS TO FOOD SAFETY: Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill. These basic actions include cleaning the food well, keeping potential contaminates separated, cooking meats thoroughly and chilling uneaten portions.

The following guests are partnering with the USDA and the Ad Council’s Food Safe Families campaign to remind you to make food safety a big priority on game day!

First, Rebel Chef Terry French, winner of Food Network’s Extreme Chef and Owner of Culinary Dreams is turning up the heat with recipes he’s learned from his travels around the world. No matter where his travels take him, he is always in search of adventure and the best ingredients available to create the most daring and passionate culinary experiences and to do it safely.

Martie Duncan of MartieKnowsParties.com and Season 8 of Food Network Star is also here to remind you to make food safety a big priority on game day!

Martie Duncan created a wonderful Super Bowl Food Safety Video you can see here that highlights all the important ways to keep out of foodborne illness troubles: http://youtu.be/zeK85i5dyvg

Self Disclosure: Sponsored feature by FoodSafety.gov.

 

SweetWorks for Valentine’s Day!! Yes! That special day is almost here!! Giveaway Opportunity!

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Can you believe that January is almost over? February will soon be here and Valentine’s Day too! Looking for the perfect chocolate gift for this special holiday? SweetWorks has you covered! As you may already know by our reviews, SoCal City Kids are big fans of SweetWorks. I love all their products from the Celebration by SweetWorks to Ovation, Sixlets, and Niagara Chocolates. I think my favorite is the Niagara Chocolates but I know my son loves the Sixlets! One new product I had the opportunity to review was the Niagara Chocolates Chocolat Au Lait Champagne Bottle. It is yummy and delicious semi-solid milk chocolate!

We have teamed up with our friends at SweetWorks for a Sweet Valentine’s Day Giveaway! One winner will win the gift package with the items posted in the above image!  First, leave a comment below telling us your favorite thing about Valentine’s day or tell us how you will be spending the day!  Next, “like” the SweetWorks  Facebook Page and make sure to “like” our Facebook page too! Deadline to enter is February 6th, 2014 at midnight. One winner will randomly be selected from all entries.

Self Disclosure: I received an assortment of Valentine’s candy to facilitate this feature and giveaway.

Laura Mercier Gifts that Give Back for Valentine’s Day!

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Looking for Valentine’s Day Gifts that give back this Valentine’s Day?

How about  including a guilt-free gift from Laura Mercier for a “Gifts that Give Back,” round-up.  100% of the profits from the sale of three amazing products are donated to the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund.

 

What better way is there to show love for the important women in your life – your friends, sisters (and even yourself) – than with a gift that helps save women’s lives?

ABOUT THE GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK:

Bonne Mine Healthy Glow for Face & Cheeks Crème Colour Palette

  • ·        An easy way to achieve a sun-kissed glow, even in the middle of winter
  • ·        This ultra-sheer, blendable and portable palette was inspired by Laura Mercier’s work with celebrity clients, who wanted a universal compact that would “wake-up” their skin.  
  • ·        Includes: 1 Bronzer Veil, 2 Cheek Veils, 2 Glow Veils
  • ·        Retail Price: $48 (100% of the profits are donated to the cause)

 

Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Kiss of Hope

  • ·        Will help you achieve a perfect pout worthy of a Valentine’s Day smooch.
  • ·        A high-shine, perfectly pigmented lip gloss with rich, long-lasting colour and brilliant shine that creates the appearance of fuller lips.
  • ·        Any skin tone is virtually enhanced by creating a subtle contrast in texture.
  • ·        Retail Price: $24  (100% of the profits are donated to the cause)

 

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Healthy Glow Baked Powder & Mini Face Brush

  • ·        The perfect, petite and portable palette for that special date night.
  • ·        The duet was created to give skin an on-the-go healthy, sun-kissed glow.
  • ·        Includes an exclusive shimmering pink shade of Matte Radiance Baked Powder, plus a Mini Face Brush for flawless application.
  • ·        Retail Price: $36 (100% of the profits are donated to the cause)

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Self Disclosure: Laura Mercier sponsored feature.

PizzaRev Asks, “What’s Your New Year’s Pizzares-olution?” PizzaRev Introduces its January “Pizza of the Month” THE PIZZARES-OLUTION The Pizza that Works with your Workout Plan!

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PizzaRev, the nation’s hottest fast-casual pizza concept, has brought back its deliciously lower-calorie “PizzaRes-olution” pizza by popular demand! “January is the perfect month to showcase the healthier options that our PizzaRev guests have when they Craft Their Own custom ‘PizzaRes-olution’ pizza,” said Irv Zuckerman Co-CEO of PizzaRev. “The idea is to keep the calories down by choosing fresh & flavorful options as you build your pizza, options like our homemade thin & crispy dough, our organic red sauce, our reduced-fat buffalo-milk mozzarella, and your favorites from our long list of fresh veggie toppings.” The PizzaRes-olution can be crafted for under 650 calories when guests select the above options for the fully customizable made-to-order pizza. Partner & COO Nicholas Eckerman further explained, “Our guests tend to live an active lifestyle and pizza hasn’t always been associated with healthfulness. We think we can help to change that perception by showcasing how our pizza can fit with healthier lifestyle choices.”

Starting with PizzaRev’s original homemade dough, guests are empowered to “Craft Your Own,” customizing a personal-sized 11” pizza by choosing favorites from a tempting menu of flavorful sauces, delicious cheeses, and over 30+ fresh toppings, all on display and assembled before your eyes in any combination for under 8 bucks. “Your idea of the perfect pizza is unique to you, so we let our guests choose whatever they’d like to add to their pizzas for one affordable price,” said Eckerman. Once crafted, your pizza is placed in PizzaRev’s state of the art open-flame stone-hearth oven, where temperatures can exceed 900 degrees, and is served piping hot in under 3 minutes. With an emphasis on quality and fast & friendly customer service, PizzaRev has earned a reputation for serving better pizza from flour to fire!

My family had the opportunity to check out PizzaRev this past week and we were all very impressed! First of all, my New Year resolution is to eat healthier and exercise more so I was very excited to go and try a healthier pizza. My husband and son love pizza so they were quite thrilled to check it out too. We went to the El Segundo location and we all crafted our own pizzas! I loved all the choices of veggies and that you could have olive oil as a sauce choice! I’m really not big on Pizza but I absolutely loved this pizza!

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 Of course, my husband loves pepperoni pizza and my son loves cheese! We give PizzaRev a thumbs up for great pizza and wonderful customer service! By the time we were sitting down and eating, there was a line to the door so it was obvious that many other people love the pizza too! It really is a great experience!

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My husband finished his pizza and said it’s one of the best pizzas he ever had! Now, that really says something! Pizza is one of his all-time favorite foods! PizzaRev is a great place to eat with the family! The El Segundo PizzaRev is located at  460 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite C, El Segundo, CA 90245. Check out the website for all locations!

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Self Disclosure: Press info and top photo provided by PizzaRev. My family had the opportunity to eat free to facilitate this review but any opinions expressed are completely truthful and my own. 

PizzaRev Announces Addition Of Four Franchisee Groups Franchise Expansion Will Add New Locations in San Diego County, Orange County, Utah, Nebraska, North Dakota & South Dakota

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PizzaRev, a leader in the fast-casual build-your-own pizza space, today announced signed agreements with four franchisee groups covering territory in five states. “These four exceptional franchise groups, along with our partner and first franchisee Buffalo Wild Wings, will each add tremendously to the PizzaRev story,” stated PizzaRev Co-CEO Rodney Eckerman. The deals will bring new units to San Diego County, Orange County, Utah, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

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Away We Dough, LLC

Away We Dough, LLC is part of William Tell, Inc. based in Salt Lake City, UT. Jeff Meyer and John Prince own and operate 18 Applebee’s and eight Famous Dave’s in Utah and Washington. The Restaurant Finance Monitor placed William Tell, Inc. at 151st of the Top 200 franchisees in the U.S. based on annual revenue. Away We Dough, LLC will be developing three PizzaRev restaurants in Utah.

Crafty Pizza, Inc.

 

Founded by Arnold Lieberman and David Lieberman, Design Development Group is best known for its work in the hospitality industry, responsible for numerous award winning hotels, restaurant and night club projects throughout the U.S. and abroad. Their client list includes Hard Rock Café, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill, Walt Disney Company, Mimi’s Café, and Flemings Prime Steakhouse. Jason Lieberman is an attorney and a real estate broker at Law Office of Lieberman and Ross and at Coldwell Banker. Crafty Pizza, Inc. will be developing 12 PizzaRev restaurants in Orange County. “We believe PizzaRev is the natural sustainable progression of the very large pizza segment of the restaurant industry. The attention to the quality of the ingredients, the standards of the design and culture in the restaurants and the unparalleled support from the franchisor brings PizzaRev to the top of the class in this segment. We are extremely excited about our opportunity in the development of PizzaRev units in Orange County California and are aggressively pursuing locations.”

TNT Pizza, Inc.

 

Todd Porter owns and operates nine Applebee’s, two Chevys and three Johnny Carino’s in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Todd has been active in the Applebee’s organization where he sits on the Franchise Advisory Board and has been very involved in his community of Sioux Falls. TNT Pizza, Inc. will be developing three PizzaRev restaurants in Sioux Falls, SD, Fargo, ND and Lincoln, Nebraska.

RFP Group, Inc.

Four brothers from New Jersey that grew up a few blocks from the original Jersey Mike’s are PizzaRev franchisees in North San Diego County. They currently own and operate three Jersey Mike’s in North San Diego County and will be developing five PizzaRev restaurants. “We’re very fortunate be part of the PizzaRev team. They are head and shoulders above the rest in the exciting new trend in fast-casual pizza and we look forward to growing the brand in San Diego … best product, best presentation and best partners.”

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About PizzaRev

 

PizzaRev is a Los Angeles-based fast casual Pizza chain that has re-invented the way America eats its favorite food by presenting a truly interactive dining experience where customers craft their own pizzas choosing from a wide variety of high-quality ingredients, in any amount, for one price. PizzaRev fires its pizzas in a stone-hearth oven which produces a delicious, crispy Roman-style thin pizza in just 3 minutes.

PizzaRev was founded in 2012 by longtime entertainment industry executives Irv Zuckerman and Rodney Eckerman, who bring Fortune 500 executive operating experience along with their Management team of highly experienced and long-tenured restaurant operators. PizzaRev announced a strategic partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings earlier in 2013, and Buffalo Wild Wings will open the first PizzaRev franchise location in early 2014. For a list of all PizzaRev locations visit www.pizzarev.com/locations.

Join PizzaRev on Facebook www.facebook.com/pizzarevco and Twitter www.twitter.com/pizzarevco.  Visit www.PizzaRev.com for updated news, videos and updated location information.

View a short video clip of PizzaRev in action here!

Credit: PizzaRev.

 

 

 

 

“WADJDA” – A Treasure of a Film About Girls and Women in Saudi Arabia KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions, www.kidsfirst.org

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WADJDA, the first film shot in Saudi Arabia tells the story of an enterprising Saudi girl who signs on for her school’s Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest. This is a unique film that offers insight into another culture and understanding of the oppression of women that live there. “It’s mind-blowing to me that a movie about the oppression of women was made in the exact environment it depicts,” comments KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Cassandra H.  See her full review below.

 

WADJDA

Reviewed by Cassandra Hsiao

Video review available here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxfJDVVTTFA

 

A poignantly triumphant movie, the storyline of “WADJDA” is just as phenomenal as the story of how the film came to be. In short, “WADJDA” represents quite a number of firsts. It’s the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, a country where cinema is prohibited. Writer and director Haifaa Al Mansour is Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker. It is also the first submission from Saudi Arabia for the Foreign Language Category for the 2014 Academy Awards.

 

Set in a country known for its repression of women, the movie follows our title character—a 10-year-old spirited girl—in her journey to buy a new bicycle so she can race her best friend, neighbor and crush Abdullah. Even though Wadjda’s mother warns her to stay away from both bikes and boys because of their culture’s strict customs, Wadjda is determined to buy her bike with her own hard-earned money, no matter what the consequences. This, in turn, leads to joining a Koran competition at school. If she wins, she will have more than enough to buy a bike and therefore beat the boy next door.

 

Subtly, the film explores the repercussions from this society in which girls should only be seen, not heard and, in public, only their eyes should be seen, with the rest of their faces covered by black veils. Wadjda tests boundaries in her search for freedom of expression. Although she discovers the contradictions in her world, she’s determined to challenge women’s traditional roles. The movie covers major topics such as polygamy and child-brides, as well as smaller oppressions such as the restriction of driving and rules of women in the presence of men.

 

It’s mind-blowing to me that a movie about the oppression of women was made in the exact environment it depicts. On DVD, the making-of featurette explores in-depth the struggles and challenges that faced director Haifaa Al Mansour. The line, “respectable girls go inside,” is said to Wadjda in the film, and Mansour confronted the same problems. She had to direct her cast out-of-sight using a walkie-talkie to communicate with her cast and a monitor to watch the filming. She could not be seen working with men and often, when religious officials would come to inspect the bustle, production would be halted and moved to another location. It took close to five years to make the movie, but the effort is worth it.

 

First timer Waad Mohammed is perfect as the fun-loving rebel Wadjda. This film is rated PG and I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. The pace may be slow for kids under ten. This is truly a landmark film that the world needs to watch. I give it five out of five stars. Perhaps the most uplifting message is that although the plot is fiction, the remarkable story behind the movie is not, and that shows that revolution is possible. This film played in theaters last year and will be released on February 11 on DVD/Blu-ray.

 

Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions