Archives for March 2014

African Ingredients – Now Found on a Beauty Counter Near You!

Move over chemical formulations! As seen in today’s New York Times article, many luxury brands are swapping previously used ingredients for ingredients from and indigenous to Africa.


Pioneering this trend is Nyakio Kamoche Grieco, founder and namesake of nyakio™, a collection of skincare products featuring key African ingredients and oils, including Trichilia Oil, Ximenia Oil, Mongongo Nut Oil, Kenyan Coffee and Kola Nut.

One “buzz-worthy” ingredient that was spotlighted in the article is Marula Oil – known as Africa’s Miracle Oil. Derived from the Marula tree, this oil is a key ingredient in the below nyakio products:


–        Hydrating Eye Cream with Kola Nut

–        Hydrating Face Lotion with Kola Nut, Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen

–        Hydrating Lip Balm with Kola Nut

nyakio products are a highly effective way to exfoliate and hydrate skin – just in time for spring. Please consider the following nyakio products as you begin to work on upcoming stories about spring or about Africa as the new “it” spot.



Product Detail


Kenyan Coffee Body Scrub


Kenyan Coffee Collection This scrub blends naturally energizing and exfoliating Kenyan Coffee with Sugar to remove dull skin while providing antioxidant benefits. With Mongongo Nut Oil, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Grape Seed Oil and Avocado Oil, this unique fusion leaves all skin moisturized, smooth and soft. $55
Kenyan Coffee Face Polish


Kenyan Coffee Collection Blending naturally energizing and exfoliating Kenyan Coffee with Jojoba, this face polish gently removes dull skin while providing antioxidant benefits. With Lemongrass and Neroli Oils, indigenous to Africa, this unique fusion leaves all skin toned, moisturized, soft and immediately radiant. $34
Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut


Hydrating Kola Nut Collection A light, non-greasy fusion of African Kola Nut, Ximenia Oil, Chamomile Oil and Trichilia Oil that invigorates and hydrates for 12 hours. $49
Hydrating Eye Cream with Kola Nut


Hydrating Kola Nut Collection Infused with African Kola Nut, Trichilia Oil, Chamomile Oil, and the Miracle Oil, Marula, to help revitalize and hydrate the eye area. While providing superb antioxidant benefits and helping to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this unique multi-tasking fusion also soothes, tones and helps restore, nourish and protect the eye area. $39
Hydrating Face Cleanser with Kola Nut


Hydrating Kola Nut Collection Infused with African Kola Nut, Trichilia Oil, Chamomile Oil, Lavender Oil and Rooibos Tea to revitalize, hydrate and soothe while providing antioxidant benefits. This unique nourishing fusion leaves skin thoroughly cleansed, soft and more youthful-looking. $29
Hydrating Face Cream with Kola Nut


Hydrating Kola Nut Collection Infused with African Kola Nut, Ximenia Oil and Chamomile Oil to revitalize, hydrate and help even tone, leaving skin more youthful-looking. This unique multi-tasking fusion also adds radiance, softens $49
Hydrating Face Lotion with Kola Nut, Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen


Hydrating Kola Nut Collection Infused with African Kola Nut, the Miracle Oil, Marula, and Rooibos Tea to help protect and hydrate for 12 hours. This benefit-packed fusion also helps smooth texture, even tone and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful, radiant look. $49
Hydrating Lip Balm with Kola Nut


Hydrating Kola Nut Collection Infused with African Kola Nut, the Miracle Oil, Marula, Trichilia Oil and Honey to help relieve and hydrate dry lips. This unique fusion also provides superb antioxidant benefits, leaving lips immediately comforted and soft. $20

I received samples of the Hydrating Face Lotion with kola nut and SPF 20 sunscreen and I love this face lotion! It just feels great on my skin and I love that it has SPF protection! I also received the hydrating lip balm and this works immediately to soften lips! It now is my new favorite lip balm!

For more information on these products, check out the website!

Self Disclosure: I received free products to facilitate this feature. nyakio sponsored feature. Photo credit: nyakio.


Smarty Pants Delicious Gummies Vitamins for both Kids & Adults!


I don’t like swallowing pills or vitamins so I am always on the look out for a better way to take vitamins. I was happy to receive samples from Smarty Pants! They make Gummies for both children and adults. My son can be a bit particular so I put the children’s Gummies to the test and they passed! The Kids Complete Multi + Omega 3+Vitamin D were his favorite and I love that they also include Vitamin D. They also have a Kids Complete + Fiber Multi + Omega 3+ Vitamin D with no sugar added. This also passed the test although my son prefers the other one. I tried the Adult Complete +Fiber Multi+ Omega 3+ Vitamin D (no sugar added) and the Adult Complete Multi + Omega 3 +Vitamin D and am very impressed! They really are great tasting and easy to take! All-in-One Gummy Multivitamin + Omega’s 3+ Vitamin D and 11 other key nutrients!

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I also love their website with free online content to help families stay healthy and happy at  Check them out on Facebook too! They have great offers and deals!

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


ArtRage for iPad Logo

Wins for Digitally Imitating Professional Artist’s Tools & Paints
Creates 3 Dimensional Art Realism for Kids without the Mess.

Ambient Design, the leading award-winning creator of realistic art painting software for Mac, Windows, iPad and iPhone, announced today that ArtRage for iPad is the winner of the 2014 Parents’ Choice Gold Award for the Best Mobile Apps at:  Available immediately at the Apple iTunes Store, ArtRage for iPad is the most realistic art app and software helping kids become creative on the go without the mess.

ArtRage was chosen for the Parents’ Choice Award because it does a “remarkable job of imitating not only the professional tools and paints of artists, but also the 3 dimensional way artistic mediums react and build on a canvas,” said Parents’ Choice.  “For example, a hunk of oil paint can be squeezed out of a tube of paint and it sits realistically on your canvas waiting to be spread and molded with great accuracy using a palette knife, brush, or any of the other tools.  Any tool that is chosen can be manipulated using a finger or a stylus,” they concluded.

ArtRage Exhibiting at National Art Educators Association – Previewing ArtRage for Android

ArtRage will be exhibiting at the NAEA 2014, the annual convention of the National Art Educators Association, March 29-31, 2014 in San Diego.  At booth #632, the latest versions of ArtRage will be shown for Windows, Mac, iPad and iPhone and the upcoming version of ArtRage for Android will also be previewed.

Parents’ Choice Champions Importance of Quality Children’s Media  

The Parents’ Choice Awards is the nation’s oldest nonprofit program recognizing quality children’s media to help parents and caregivers of all achievements and backgrounds make informed decisions about which new products are right for their children.  For more than thirty-three years, the Parents’ Choice Awards have honored the best products for children:  books, toys, music, storytelling, magazines, software, videogames, television and websites.  With a panel of educators, scientists, performing artists, librarians, parents, and even kids themselves, the Parents’ Choice Awards identify the very best products for children of different ages, backgrounds, skills and interest levels.

“We are honored to win the Parents’ Choice Award for the best mobile products that entertain and teach with flair, stimulate imagination and inspire creativity,” said Matthew Fox Wilson, Creative Director and Co-founder, Ambient Design.  “ArtRage is a great way to get kids, teens, and adults of all ages interested in art and developing their creativity.  ArtRage is used in thousands of schools and dozens of museums to teach art.”

Let Your Inner Van Gogh Out with ArtRage for iPad 

ArtRage for iPad lets you become a mobile digital artist on your iPad, providing the experience ofactually “painting” digitally on an iPad canvas with oil paints that smear and blend, and watercolors that flow together to create soft, wet gradations, just as they would in a traditional art studio.  “If you’ve always dreamed of putting paint to canvas and letting your inner Van Gogh out, then you should check out the ArtRage app for iPad,” said Parents’ Choice.  “Whether aged 4 or 12 or 50 years old, if you are feeling creative, then you can summon that urge using this great $5 natural media painting app. It models real-world paints, brushes, tools, and canvases to let you paint, draw, blend, and create on screen.”

ArtRage for iPad Features include:

  • Realistic color blending.
  • Paint Strokes:  High quality rendered strokes show the amount of paint on the canvas.
  • Oil Brush and Airbrush:  With thickness and smearing.
  • Palette Knife: For spreading and blending pigment.
  • Optional Tap and Hold Color Sampling.
  • Tools:  Paint Roller, Paint Tube, Eraser, Inking Pen with auto-smoothing and pressure simulation, Pencil & Marker Pen, Chalk & Crayon.  Watercolor tracking shows paper wetness as you paint.
  • Settings:  For fine control of each tool and custom tool presets for storing favorites.
  • Unlimited:  Unlimited Layers, Undo, Redo, and Color Samples.
  • Reference & Tracing:  Images and digital camera support for referencing and tracing images and importing images to help you as you paint.
  • Support for Bluetooth pressure-sensitive styluses.
  • Largest canvas for realistic paint on a mobile device:  2048 x 2048 pixels.
  • Recording: Paint stroke recordings can be played back in ArtRage 4 in Mac and Windows.
  • Sharing:  Features file sharing, importing and exporting.
  • Improved Airbrush Strokes.
  • “Save” Speed Improvements.
  • Updates for:  Import Popover Dismissal, Landscape Mode Drag, and Color Sampler.

ArtRage Announces Special Pricing During Macworld Expo and NAEA 2014:

Special pricing for a limited time only during Macworld Expo and NAEA 2014:
ArtRage for iPad is free (regular pricing U.S. $1.99)
ArtRage for iPhone is $2.99 (regular pricing U.S. $4.99)

After the special pricing period, ArtRage for iPad will be available for $4.99 at the iTunes store at Apple iTunes Store.  ArtRage 4 for Mac and Windows is also available with more advanced features, priced at $49.90.  For more information, see, ArtRage for iPad Features:, Facebook: .  Tutorials on deviantArt:, Tumblr:

About Parents’ Choice

Parents’ Choice serves as a trusted and independent source for educators and librarians, journalists, as well as families searching for quality children’s media and toys.  Their website has been honored by the Webby Awards, the Interactive Media Awards, the Communicator Awards, and Educational World among others. Parents’ Choice champions the importance of quality children’s media.
The multi-tiered Parents’ Choice Award evaluation process is as true to its integrity today as it was when Parents’ Choice Foundation was established almost thirty years ago. The Parents’ Choice Awards Committees’ evaluation process offers objectivity, respect, and expertise – and all with a sense of humor.  Learning is fun – and they want kids to know that.  For more information, see

About Ambient Design Ltd.

Ambient Design Ltd. is a New Zealand-based global software development and publishing firm, specializing in creative applications and user interfaces for artists of all ages and all levels of competency, including professionals, hobbyists and students. The principals have over 40 years experience in combining complex image processing algorithms with an easily accessible user experience. Ambient Design Ltd. was founded in 2000 by Andy Bearsley and Matt Fox-Wilson, formerly of MetaCreations, the developer of Painter, Bryce and Kai’s Power Tools.  Ambient Design’s products are available in 12 languages and have been downloaded over 30 million times.  For more information, see

Self Disclosure: ArtRage sponsored post.

Wearever Socks


Looking for comfy socks that are 100% cotton and are really comfortable?

Wearever Socks by Buster Brown: Wearever offers 100% cotton socks made by Buster Brown for maximum comfort and durability. Appropriate for those with poor circulation, easily irritated skin, or diabetes, Buster Brown 100% cotton socks are made with no elastic or synthetics. The seamless design of Buster Brown cotton socks with cushioning improve comfort, reduce binding, and eliminate skin irritation. Wearever currently offers three comfortable styles of socks.


We received 3 pairs of these comfy socks and my husband loves them! They really are comfortable! The socks are available in black and white and right now our readers  can use the coupon code 10OFF. The expiration date will be end of April. (10% off)

Also check out Wearever on Facebook and Pinterest:


We have teamed up for a Giveaway! Would you like to win these socks? Leave a comment below telling us why you would like to try them. Deadline to enter is April 1st, 2014 at midnight. One winner will randomly be selected from all entries.

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Chest By The Bay By Tessa N. Beauchat and Illustrated by Dwain Esper


Chest By The Bay is a story about an abandoned amusement park and a curious young girl who discovers a chest. Should she open it? Most curious people would but what is in the chest? Somethings are sometimes better left alone. This is a quick read and children ages 6-8 will be able to read it rather quickly and they will also love the illustrations. The book is illustrated by Dwain Esper. What I find so impressive is that the Author of the book is 12 years old.

Chest by the Bay is the first book from Tessa Beauchat. Tessa is currently 12. She is in the 7th Grade at Saint Francis Xavier School in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Chest by the Bay grew out of poetry project Tessa did in the 4th grade. Tessa has a passion for both writing and reading. Her favorite authors are Veronica Roth and Rick Riordan.

Tessa participates in the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. She also has a passion for volleyball. This season Tessa is playing for the Revolution Volleyball Club of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. She is a defensive specialist and plays the position of libero.

When not busy with academics, volleyball, and writing, Tessa loves water sports, horseback riding, and snow skiing. Tessa loves to travel. Her favorite places to visit are Lake LBJ in Texas and Sanibel Island Florida. At Lake LBJ she loves to wake board, knee board, tube, and do anything that keeps her on the water from sunrise until bedtime. On Sanibel her favorite thing to do is bike to Poco Loco and be the first customer of the day.

The book is available via Kindle or in print from Amazon.

Visit her on the web at

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Bari Koral Family Rock Band The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee


Here’s the buzz:  One of the most popular kids’/family recording artists on the scene today, Bari Koral, takes an adventurous leap forward with the Bari Koral Family Rock Band’s fourth album, The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee, set for release in May.

Over the past seven years, Bari Koral has established herself not only as a beloved performer but also as a leading force in the “yoga for kids” movement.  Bari’s catchy, pop-friendly tunes and interactive live shows featuring a creative blend of music and movement have gained her legions of fans, while many of her songs are also widely used in kids’ yoga classes and preschool classrooms.  As a kids’ yoga expert, Bari lectures nationally on the subject.  Watch for Bari as host of the world’s first yoga-based, movement-and-music TV show for kids, coming soon on the Veria Living Network.

For The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee, Bari decided a musical stretch was in order, so she brought her band to Nashville to record the album under the guiding hand of legendary producer Brad Jones.

Brad Jones, described by music journalist Rick Clark as “one of the most self-directed and disciplined guys I know in music,” has worked with everyone from Matthew Sweet, Jill Sobule, Marshall Crenshaw and Ron Sexsmith to Justin Townes Earle, Yo La Tengo, Over the Rhine, Chuck Prophet, and Josh Rouse.  Jones produced Josh Rouse’s highly laudedNashville and 1972.

The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee leads off with “Dancing Bear,” a rocking, good-times tune with a great dance beat, which features Bari Koral “trading fours” with Dred Scott’s excellent bass guitar work.  Bari wrote “Big Truck” à la Johnny Cash, and Dan Cohen’s twangy guitars combine with Bari’s impressive country vocals to give the song an authentic “on the road” feel.  Shifting gears with 18-wheel precision, Bari turns the corner on the next song, “Birthday,” a poppy anthem of love and security.  Other highlights include the New Orleans flavor of “Roller Coaster,” spiced with vocal “whees” that are sure to delight, and the humorous, two-beat “Back to the Farm,” which is guaranteed to get kids moving.

People Magazine named Bari Koral’s 2012 release, Anna and the Cupcakes, one of that year’s coolest albums for kids.  Bari’s songs are in regular rotation on Sirius/XM Radio‘s Kids Place Live, and her recordings have been honored with two Parents’ Choice Awards and two NAPPA Awards.  Enthused Jeff Bogle of Out With The Kids, “What would Norah Jones sound like if she decided to up the tempo a bit and make music geared towards young people?  My guess is that she would probably emulate the music The Bari Koral Family Rock Band is making right now.”

We received this CD to review and really enjoyed the catchy tunes, fun lyrics and there’s a real refreshing sound to the entire CD. This is something that is sometimes missing in today’s music for young children. Bari’s vocals and lyrics are quite impressive and the music will make young children want to get on their feet and dance!

The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee will be available at, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and at independent retail outlet throughout the country.


Check out Bari Koral’s website at

Self Disclosure: I received this CD for free to facilitate this feature but any opinions expressed are my honest opinions,


The Treasure of Snake Island


Ahoy Mateys!

Carole P. Roman’s award winning children’s series, Captain No Beard, returns with an exciting new adventure on the high seas, with volume 5 “The Treasure of Snake Island.” This is a fun book with the mateys being threatened by a serious looking set of storm clouds. Will they be able to get through the storm? Well..they were aware of the storm so they are prepared and of course these characters make it through and are on their way to search for buried treasure. What is the big treasure they find? Is it gold coins? Maybe valuable jewels? They do find something much more valuable…books and the treasure of reading. This is a fun, fast read book that is great for children ages 4-8. (Just don’t spoil the ending by showing them this review!). For more information about this book and others by Carole P. Roman, check out the Carole. P. Roman website and you can find her book at

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

Tinker Bell Saves the Pixie Dust in Disney’s new The Pirate Fairy KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,


Disney has a pretty good grasp on stories about fairies and pirates and their latest release, The Pirate Fairy certainly reflects that. Tinker Bell plays a leading role in coming to the rescue when mischievous fairy Zarina steals Blue Pixie Dust and flies away to join forces with the pirates of Skull Rock. “This movie is full of excitement the entire family should enjoy, ” claims KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kendyl P. and her twin, Kayla adds, “The message of this film is that you should not turn your back on your friends when you do something wrong.” See their full reviews below along with a link to their interviews with the cast members, director and producer at the premiere.


Disney’s The Pirate Fairy
Reviewed by Kayla and Kendyl Powell, Age 12, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

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Premiere coverage here:

Video review here:


The fairies are coming, the fairies are coming. That’s right Disney’s The Pirate Fairy is a phenomenal film. This movie is full of excitement the entire family should enjoy. There are fairies for the girls, pirates and adventure for the boys and great comedy for the parents.


Disney’s The Pirate Fairy is about a pixie dust fairy name Zarina (Christina Hendricks) who has a lot of great ideas. Zarina wants to use some of her creativity to make new things for the town of Pixie Hallow. She makes a few mistakes and runs off and becomes a Pirate Fairy. Zarina partners up with a pirate named James (Tom Hiddleston) who is actually the younger Captain Hook. Once again Zarina finds herself in a lot of trouble. Now it is up to Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) and her friends to help save the day.


The message of this film is that you should not turn your back on your friends when you do something wrong. In the film, Zarina turns her back on her friends and then later regrets her actions and her friends continue to be there when she is in need. Zarina does not expect the other fairies to be nice to her after what she did to them. The voice actors, Christina Hendricks, Mae Whitman and Tom Hiddleston deliver spectacular performances and really bring their characters to life.


My favorite character is Tinker Bell because she is very determined to help her friend Zarina even though Zarina left and was the best friend at the time.


My other favorite character is Zarina because she likes to take charge and is really determined to accomplish her personal goals and ambitions. That’s what I like about her.


My favorite part of the film is when they play the Pixie Hallow games. I really enjoyed the figure skaters and all their cool tricks. I was awed by their performances.


We recommend Disney’s Pirate Fairy for ages 4 to 10.  We give this movie 5 out of 5 SHINING STARS!!!!!! You can watch Disney’s Pirate Fairy in Movie Theaters on April 1st, 2014. Reviewed by Kendyl and Kayla Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critics.