Archives for September 2014

Education.com Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Online Learning Program For Kids Brainzy Helps Parents and Teachers Make Screen Time Matter

Education.com, the nation’s leading destination for parents and teachers seeking supplemental learning materials, today announced the launch of Brainzy, a new kind of online learning program designed to build reading and math skills in children ages 3–7. Developed using rich data gathered from the 20 million worksheets downloaded each year at Education.com, Brainzy features hundreds of interactive games and activities that captivate young minds and delight parents weary of filling screen time with so-called education apps. Brainzy’s comprehensive program follows a methodical, building-block path created to spark curiosity, giggles, and grins while building more than 30 critical reading and math skills.

 

The systematic approach of the new program sets it apart from the thousands of learning apps that take a one-off, episodic approach. Brainzy covers the essential skills teachers consider most important for early learning success while deeply engaging kids in a world rich with exploration. Guided by a lovable cast of original characters, kids cover a year’s worth of learning as they play through more than 300 fun games, videos, and read-along stories.

 

With one in four educators nationwide using Education.com, the Brainzy team can harness real-time data that shows what parents and teachers are looking for in supplemental learning materials. That data plus years of industry-leading education expertise form the foundation of Brainzy, which is aligned with the Common Core Curriculum State Standards for early reading and math.

 

“Brainzy emerged from a longstanding dialogue with educators and parents about their supplemental education needs, and where current offerings fall short,” said Education.com president Greg Goff. “Brainzy started with a clean sheet—or make that, screen—yet one informed by that dialogue, data, and understanding of how education and entertainment can and should be partners. That is where Brainzy’s systematic approach came from, where kids’ progress can by charted as they methodically build and reinforce essential skills.”

 

Brainzy transports kids to the Land of Knowhere, where they play and learn with new friends named Roly, Floyd, Tutu, Officer Ice Cream, Birdee, Cuz-Cuz, Muggo, and Penelope Pegacorn. Designed for children at Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade levels with additional levels planned up to Fifth Grade, Brainzy’scollection of original games and videos is constantly expanding and improving. Reading games include alphabet games, phonics games, and sight word games and videos like “Alphabet Demolition Bingo” and “Short E Rap.” Math games build skills in counting, number recognition, shapes, and addition/subtraction through games and videos like “Subtraction Ski Race” and “Stacking Up the Ice Cream.”

 

Each Brainzy account can accommodate up to three players, making it a snap for parents to customize Brainzy for multiple children. As kids master the math and literacy games, parents can track progress and performance. Brainzy also offers a classroom version for teachers that can accommodate up to 35 students.

 

Brainzy is available by monthly subscription ($6.99 per month) or annual subscription ($3.99 per month), and provides an ad-free environment safe for kids to explore on a tablet, desktop, or laptop computer. Visit Brainzy.com for more information and to sign up for a free 7-day trial.

 

ABOUT EDUCATION.COM

With nearly five million members and millions of visitors each month, Education.com is the leading one-stop destination for parents and teachers to find the guidance, inspiration, and materials they need to help kids succeed. From printable workbooks to Brainzy learning games to insightful articles and everything in between, Education.com delivers content kids love and resources educators rely on. Education.com is based in Redwood City, California, and was founded in 2007 by a group of parents dedicated to making learning fun inside and outside the classroom. Learn more at www.education.com.

 

 

 

 

Self Disclosure: No compensation was received to post. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of America is Upgrading its Clubs’ Recreation Areas Nationwide Skateboarding Superstar Rob Dyrdek’s Foundation Kicks off The Renovation Program with a Revamped California Skate Park

 Lunchables Lunch Combinations announced today a “renovation program” aimed at upgrading and refurbishing Clubs for Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) as part of its partnership with the organization.  To kick off the program, professional skateboarder and MTV Star Rob Dyrdek’s SLS Foundation and the Lunchables brand unveiled a newly upgraded skate park at the Boys & Girls Club in Chula Vista, Calif.

The skate park now features new obstacles including a kicker, pump bump, mailbox, roller and bank to ledge.  Scores of Club kids, ranging from rookie to veteran skateboarders, spent the day grinding rails, catching air and practicing ollies, kickflips, and heelflips. 

The new renovation program embodies Lunchables and BGCA’s shared goal of promoting fun and active lifestyles for kids by providing much needed resources for a wide variety of facility upgrades and renovations. The Lunchables brand has an ongoing commitment to BGCA.  This year marks the second year of their five-year partnership and includes a $200,000 per year donation over five years, up to $1 million.  

“Every year, Boys & Girls Clubs serve nearly four million kids during the out-of-school time with impactful programs and positive mentors,” said Joe Fragnito, vice president of marketing, Lunchables Lunch Combinations.  “Our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America means a great deal to us and we are proud to contribute to an organization with a history of providing vital resources to kids including tutoring, sports and other programs that help kids thrive.” 

 

Credit: Boys and Girls Club of America and Lunchables. No compensation was received to post.

VoilaVe Dead Sea Mud Mask is a Must-Have!

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This is a Must-Have to use at least once a week! I like that it is a big 16 oz Jar and that the product itself is organic. It is really made with Dead Sea Mud Imported from Israel. It really moisturizes, hydrates and exfoliates all at the same time. I like that there is a 365 day guarantee but if you have the same experience that I am having with this product. you won’t want to return it! My favorite thing is that it is 100% natural with no chemicals or artificial additives. My second favorite thing is that it leaves my skin feeling really clean and moisturized at the same time! My skin feels softer and I love using this mask once a week.

You can find on Amazon.com.

Self Disclosure: I received this product free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and may differ from yours.

Bonapiel’s Anti Aging Matrixil

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I really like this because it works great as a moisturizer. It is very lightweight and does not feel sticky or greasy. It also makes my skin feel hydrated and works great under makeup. Does not make my skin flaky. It also absorbs really well. I have been using this product for a little over a week and am very happy with the results so far. I am not sure about making fine lines disappear but like I mentioned, have only been using for a little over a week.

More info:

  • Rebuilds Collagen, Repairs Visible Lines And Improves Skin Texture and Tone.
  • Power-packed with Matrixyl 3000 + Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid + Antioxidants That Work To Reduce The Appearance of Fine Lines + Wrinkles And Firm The Skin | Matrixyl 3000 is Shown To Reduce Appearance Of Wrinkles By 45% in Two Months
  • Contains Vitamin E :: A Natural Skin Conditioner And Anti-Oxidant Which Keeps Your Skin Hydrated. Conditions & Moisturizes Your Skin and Promotes Rapid Cell Growth | Promotes a Healthy Skin Cell Renewal Cycle
  • Enhances The Skin’s Renewal Process | This Oil-Free Formula Absorbs Quickly – Leaving Skin Perfectly Balanced | From Dull To Revitalized, Your Complexion Will Positively Glow
  • Lightweight, Fresh-Feeling Moisturizer That Revitalizes And Protects | Made in the USA | Comes With a 30 Day No-Questions-Asked Money Back Guarantee – The Risk Is On Us!

It is on sale right now on Amazon.com. Sale price is $35.97.

Self Disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for an honest review.

The Maze Runner – A Tense, Suspenseful Mystery Thriller, That Keeps You Asking And On The Edge Of Your Seat KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions, www.kidsfirst.org

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Opening last weekend, this film received rave reviews from our teen film critics. The story involves a teen who is deposited into a community of boys with no memory of his past save his own name. The world he is deposited to is comprised of 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in this completely closed-off environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies. The original group has been in “The Glade” for two years, have tried to escape and have, for the most part, given up hope. Their world begins to change with the latest boy and then, the first girl arriving. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven D, age 17, comments, “It kept me on the edge of my seat and made me hold my breath during the intense situations, and I love when a film gets me so involved, but that may be too much for some to handle.” Willie J adds, “Using the element of surprise and leaving unanswered questions, this film proves to be a very formidable mystery, action-thriller.” See their full reviews below.

 

The Maze Runner

Reviewed by Raven D.

 

The Maze Runner is an action packed, visually stunning new film that made hold my breath and kept me on the edge of my seat till the very end. The Maze Runner tells the story of Thomas, played by Dylan O’Brien, who wakes up in a giant crate with no memory of his passed. He is taken to “The Glade,” a place full of boys who were taken and had their memories erased as well. Thomas soon learns that they are trapped in a giant maze, and once you’re stuck inside, you never make it out alive. Everything begins to change when a girl is brought to the Glade and so Thomas decides it is time to face the maze and find the whole truth about the people who placed them there. But the truth they find might be even more horrible than the maze itself.

 

I absolutely love this film. It is so intense and visually stunning. It kept me on the edge of my seat and made my heart race through the entire the film. Every time Thomas is inside the maze, I felt as if I was there with him, running for my life. But this isn’t just an adrenaline packed adventure. The Maze Runner also moved me to tears and made me think about the way we can work together when we are truly faced with a challenge. The visuals are incredible as well. The maze is so complex and ever changing and it’s so cool to be able to “explore” it in a sense and see all of the detail put into the CGI.

 

The entire cast is incredible. All the characters are so unique and have their own personality and quirks, but they work together in such a seamless way. My favorite character is Thomas played by Dylan O’Brien. He is the main character in this film and really makes the whole thing come to life. The boys that live in the Glade have been there for three years and, of course, they have tried to find a way out. But, most of them have essentially decided that they will live out the rest of their days there. When Thomas shows up, he tests the system and refuses to accept his fate of being stuck in the maze. I admire his character because he thinks outside of the box and finds his own way. He looks past his fear and is a strong leader despite the doubts people may have in him.

 

It’s been very interesting seeing the theme of films that have been coming out recently. Hunger Games, Divergent, Enders Game, The Giver and now The Maze Runner all have something in common. They tell the story of young adults, children really, who have to group together and take on some very serious situations, sometimes things even adults can’t handle. It shows youth questioning authority, standing up for what’s right and making their own way. These strong themes send out a message of empowerment to the youth of our generation, but this can also be a bit overwhelming. I know it’s difficult watching adults fight for their lives, kill and be killed, and have their worlds torn apart. But it’s even more shocking to see children go through these trials.

 

Because of this, I recommend The Maze Runner for ages 13+ because of the intense situations and violence. It kept me on the edge of my seat and made me hold my breath during the intense situations, and I love when a film gets me so involved, but that may be too much for some to handle. I give The Maze Runner 5 out of 5 stars and can’t wait to see it again. Catch it in theaters near you now!

 

The Maze Runner

Willie J., age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

 

In a generation where the “teenagers face adversity in a dystopian future” is the popular piece of entertainment, The Maze Runner is a refreshing entry. Using the element of surprise and leaving unanswered questions, this film proves to be a very formidable mystery, action-thriller.

 

The acting in this film isn’t much different than many other films with teen or child ensembles. They give good performances and they all come off as veterans, especially Blake Cooper (Chuck) who, in only his second feature film, seems like he’s been acting on-screen for years. I found him very impressive. The leading performance by Dylan O’Brian is also very good but, is limited to his rather conventional and predictable character. The most impressive performance in the cast comes from Will Poulter who plays Gally. His performance earlier this cinematic season in The Giver was also impressive and his performance in We’re the Millers was hilarious so, he is really showing his range. His character is wonderfully written and wonderfully portrayed, so props to him.

 

The visual effects in the film are also quiet amazing. Enrique Chediak, whose beautiful cinematography was at its best in 127 Hours, gives this film a very crisp look. He doesn’t over do his shot composition nor does he try to give unnecessary landscape shots. He lets the beauty of the film come from the special effects, which is a smart move (although there are some genuinely stunning shots). The seemingly effortless movement of giant set pieces is a testament to the great work of the visual effects team.

 

But, the best aspect of this film is the writing. The secret this film has is what Alfred Hitchcock famously called the “MacGuffin.” It is a plot device that the main protagonist pursues with little or no explanation. This film starts with a boy entering the world but we don’t know why. We get to the middle of the film and we still don’t know why these kids are isolated, who is keeping them there or how big their obstacle is and what stakes are attached. Usually, in a movie of this kind, those questions are all answered in the exposition of the film. Even when this film ends, we are still uncertain about why what we just saw happened. What is the motivation and who is behind it? Then, in a wonderful plot twist we leave with questions that only a next installment can answer or maybe not.
This is the rare case of a film that makes us WISH FOR a sequel not because more books were written and a bunch of producers feel the need to adapt every book in series, but because we are generally interested in what happens next. That is why I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for anyone age 14 and up, as it is a little bloodier and more profane than your average pg-13 thriller.

 

“The Maze Runner” is a tense, suspenseful mystery thriller, that keeps you asking and on the edge of your seat.

Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions, www.kidsfirst.org

 

 

Dr Song Rosehip Oil 100% Pure USDA Certified Organic Virgin Rosehip Seed Oil

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I love that this is a lightweight moisturizer. I actually like to add a drop or two to my moisturizer and it feels great on my skin. I especially like that it does not feel greasy and that it quickly absorbs. My skin feels hydrated after I use it. I have been using it twice a day and love how my skin feels after I use it. I also learned that it can be used topically for wrinkles, rashes, dry skin, sun damage and even dry hair. I tried it on my hair and it really seems to improve dry & damaged hair. It left my hair feeling softer and smoother.  You can find it on Amazon.com. This really is a Must-Have!

 

 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Triple Action Vitamin C Serum from VoilaVe

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Looking for a Vitamin C product that has powerful anti-aging benefits? Triple Action Vitamin C Serum from VoilaVe seems to be working quite well for me.  I like that I have only been using this for one week and my skin already seems smoother. It hydrates my skin but at the same time is a little drying, so I recommend using moisturizer afterwards. Living in SoCal, I have to admit being over 40, I do have sun damaged skin and this product seems to be really good for helping with that. It also reduces lines and wrinkles, which is a great anti-aging benefit. Like, I said, I have only been using for a little over a week but so far have seen improvement in my skin. There is also a 365 day guarantee on this product. You can find it on Amazon.com.

Self Disclosure: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review.

48 Chalkboard Labels & Chalk Pen by MagicMil A Must-have for Organizing and more!

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Looking for a great way to label Jars in your kitchen? Maybe you are looking for cool ways to organize your pantry or even your office? Chalkboard Labels & Chalk Pen by MagicMill is the answer!

I love these Chalkboard Labels! They are so easy to use! You just simply peel and stick! This set includes 48 Chalkboard Labels and I love the smooth writing surface and that they are Freezer and Dishwasher safe. They are a Must-have for organizing especially in the Kitchen. But they are perfect for the Office or Classroom too!  I used them to organize different containers for homeschooling and also used them in the Kitchen. I like that they are easy to read and that you can also wipe off with a wet cloth. These labels are also perfect for making gift jars! There really are so many different ways that these can be used!  They are also great for organizing toys and books. I also love that there are a variety of different shaped labels included.

Here are a few helpful tips:

1.       Use a slightly damp cloth to easily remove any chalk writing,

2.       Chalk pens are slightly more watery then other markers. Reapplying will usually produce a thicker line, otherwise using normal chalk or a white permanent marker can produce thicker lines,

3.       Removing the labels from their sheets is easiest if you slightly bend the sheet where the label starts.

These tips were provided by the company and I found them so helpful, that I thought that I would share with you.

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You can purchase on Amazon.com.  But, currently our readers have been offered a 40% extra discount on top of the existing 26% off (66% total). Now, how cool is that?!  Just click here! 

We have also teamed up for a giveaway! One winner will win their own set of 48 Chalkboard Labels & Chalk Pen. To enter leave a comment below telling us one of your creative ways to use these Labels. Deadline to enter is October 1, 2014 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected from all entries via Random.org.

 

Self Disclosure: I received free to facilitate a review but all opinions expressed are honest.