Archives for March 20, 2015

Francois et Mimi Vintage-Style 20-Ounce Soup Mugs I just love these Vintage style Mugs!

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I really love these Jumbo Vintage style Mugs! They are just the best size for soup and so easy to hold. I love the Ivory color and that they are dishwasher and microwave safe. They really look so vintage and look great when entertaining. But, my favorite thing is that they are 20-pz, lead-free and stack so easily. I am really truly impressed with the products from this company and these are a real hit with my family and we love using them for everything from cereal to coffee. They are made of Stoneware and were packaged well too.

You can purchase on

Self Disclosure: I received these for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

Construction Simulator 2015 Experience the Power of Heavy Vehicles & Work on Challenging Projects in the Ultimate Construction Simulation!


Following the tremendous success of Construction Simulator 2014 on iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ tablets and smartphones (more than 2 million sold games, continuously in the top charts of the app stores), German games publisher astragon Software and developer weltenbauer. announced late last year the release of Construction Simulator 2015 for PC and MAC OS on Steam®!

Just as in the mobile version, in Construction Simulator 2015 the player assumes the role of a builder who sets out to expand a newly inherited construction company and vehicle fleet. The player fulfills construction and supply contracts and works to the top from small-time contractor to the largest construction tycoon in town! In possession of a small flatbed truck with trailer, a skip lorry, and a small excavator, the young entrepreneur first takes on smaller jobs and delivery missions in a little village and its surroundings. The player then invests money in additional machines and vehicles to expand the influence of the company to the big city and its varied neighborhoods.

The money the player earns by successfully mastering the initial missions can be used to expand the growing business’ fleet: wheel loaders, big excavators, halfpipe trucks, concrete mixers, concrete pumps, flatbed trucks with cranes, forklifts, low loaders, rollers, and giant machines like a LIEBHERR 81k fast-erecting crane or a LTM 1060-3.1 mobile crane. The vehicle fleet includes 15 construction machines and vehicles painstakingly modeled to reflect their real life counterparts by internationally-known manufacturers such as LIEBHERR, MAN, and STILL. The machines support an almost endless variety of building tasks in a large, accessible environment.

As players acquire more vehicles, they can win increasingly complex contracts and demanding undertakings, such as the construction of the municipal swimming pool, a soccer stadium, or a new school building.

In contrast to previous mobile versions, players in the new version can explore a much larger game world with many new features that will set the heart of every construction and simulation fan racing! An extensive cooperative multiplayer mode allows players of Construction Simulator 2015 to play with up to four other players, thus allowing teamwork for challenging buildings tasks. Detailed and fully animated cockpit interior views of the vehicles, machines, and their operational areas guarantee realistic building fun. Also, the newly integrated economic system forces players to look beyond the company’s machines and to manage finances and labor costs.

Thanks to more than 150 building sites with 250 varied subtasks, players will have no problem staying busy in the game’s lively, freely accessible world – including smart AI traffic. And for all those who cannot get enough of Construction Simulator 2015, modding tools can be added to the game. The vehicle editor enables creative players to add new vehicles and machines, while the mission editor allows them to design and integrate their own building missions, which can of course be freely shared with other members of the game’s community.

I checked this out and think that it is a fun game! It is pretty detailed and I was impressed with the variety of things you can do.

Construction Simulator 2015 for PC and MAC OS is available worldwide via Steam® for $29.99.

For more information please visit them on:







Credit: astragon Software Gmb and weltenbauer. Software Entwicklung GmbH. I did receive a free download code for review purposes.

Just Add Water and Change a Life on World Water Day, March 22

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Water is a necessary resource for sustainable living, yet 748 million people lack access to clean water – the equivalent of nearly two and a half times the United States population. To address this crisis and to acknowledge water’s essential presence on the earth, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22 as World Water Day in 1993.

This month, I was invited by  World Vision to spread awareness for people around the globe who need safe water sources by using an umbrella and beautiful, watercolor scarf to start the conversation. I love my scarf and umbrella! (Although, I have to admit, it hasn’t rained here much to use the Umbrella!) I love the colors in the Scarf! So pretty!

The blue umbrella, sporting World Vision’s logo and a call to save lives with water, serves as a practical reminder that rainwater is considered a precious resource for people that lack established water systems.From the World Vision Gift Catalog, the Royal Silk Scarf is made with luxurious silk, using Fair-Trade practices. The blend of soft colors emulates the purifying qualities of water and the vibrant life that it sustains.

It’s so important for everyone to have clean water! I know that often we take it for granted. Check out World Vision to see more on how you can help!


We have teamed up for a Giveaway in honor of  World Water Day. One winner will win the lovely Scarf and Umbrella. To enter, check out the website and tell us one way you can honor World Water Day. Deadline to enter is March 27th, 2015 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected via

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this feature but am also glad to participate in this #WaterNow social media campaign to spread the word about clean water access.

The Sound of Music: The Most Beloved Family Film of All Time Turns 50!


The 50th Anniversary re-release of this classic family film has all the bells and whistles one might want. The story grabbed which our hearts 50 years ago still appeals. The young nun, Maria (Julie Andrews) takes on the stern Navy captain Georg Von Trapp and commandeers his brood of young children in a kind and compelling fashion. Her demeanor and sense of fun soon draws the family together and captures the Captain’s heart. KIDS FIRST! Critic Clayton Picard couldn’t have phrased it better, “Some might think Frozen is an amazing movie musical, but Rodger and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music is a million times better!” See his full review below.

The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Edition

By Clayton Pickard, Kids First! Critic, age 15

The 50th Anniversary Edition of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music is a must-have for every family.  This 5-disc DVD set includes the movie in HD and standard definition, a new 60 minute documentary called The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg and lots of other special features.

The Sound of Music is the best family film of all time because it brings  everyone together with its great, true-life story of the Von Trapp family.  The songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein are all wonderful and unforgettable.  Each song is a masterpiece. Some might think Frozen is an amazing movie musical, but Rodger and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music is a million times better!  The quality of the song writing just cannot be compared with anything else.

The Sound of Music stars Julie Andrews as Maria, a young Austrian woman who is training to be a nun at a monastery.  Christopher Plummer stars as Captain Von Trapp, a wealthy Austrian naval captain who hires Maria as governess to his seven children.  It was directed by Robert Wise.  It won five Academy Awards including Best Picture.

The documentary, The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg, which is included in this 50th anniversary DVD edition, is informative and revealing.  We go behind-the-scenes to visit the original locations in the film: the monastery, the Cathedral, the Von Trapp estate (which is really a classical music school) and a 100-year-old marionette theater which was the inspiration for the puppet scene in the film.  It is wonderful to see Julie Andrews so excited about coming back and visiting the film’s locations after 50 years.

For those who love the songs, the 50th Anniversary DVD Edition also includes the original soundtrack from the film. And there are lots of other bonus material, such as Music Machine Sing-Along;  Audio Commentaries with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and Director Robert Wise; A City of Song—Virtual Map of Filming Locations in Salzburg, Austria; Vintage Rodgers and Hammerstein and The Sound of Music programs; and more.

The Sound of Music is appropriate for all ages.  The documentary, The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg is appropriate for those ages 10 to 18. I rate this new DVD set 5 out of 5 stars.

The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Edition


By Tre’ana Hickson, age 11, 2015 KIDS FIRST! Film Critic


The movie The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary passes the test of time.  It is still a relevant, fun and family oriented movie.  This is a classical musical movie which is entertaining to all crowds.  It captivates the audience’s attention and draws you into the storyline.


My favorite part is when the children sings a song called “So Long Farewell” in the room for the father’s guests at the house. I liked this scene because it is humorous and funny, especially when children pretend to kick each other when it is the next person’s time to sing.  The little sister does an excellent job of singing. Her part is so cute.


This movie is about a young lady, Maria Rainer (Julie Andrews) who is studying to become a nun and lives in the abbey.  The reverend mother nun doesn’t thinks she is ready.  She decides to let Maria leave the abbey and become a governess to a Naval Officer (Christopher Plummer) and his seven children.  When she first arrives the children put a frog in her dress. She screams but it doesn’t bother her.  She works on breaking the barriers to build a relationship with the children and show them love. She opens up her heart and teaches the children the beginning steps of learning how to sing. It is romantic, happy, magical and a high pitched drama. The children became exceptional and start to like Maria. You have to watch the movie to see the rest!


The message of the film is to be yourself and not anybody else.  I feel this way because it is important to connect to your inner self and express who you want to be.


The setting is quite picturesque and the costumes are traditional.


I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18 and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars because it is a time-honored movie and family-like.


Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions.


Ready….Steady….Go! Universal Studios Hollywood Unveils Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Footage of Much-Anticipated Thrill Ride “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” and Officially Announces Ride’s June 25 Grand Opening Date

Fast and Furious Supercharged teaser image

Making-of Footage Features Franchise and Ride Stars, Dwayne Johnson,

Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson; Airs During National Telecast of “Fast Five”

on NBC, Saturday, March 21, at 8:00 p.m. ET / PT

Universal Studios HollywoodSM  showcases exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of its upcoming “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” thrill ride and reveals its eagerly-awaited opening date as Thursday, June 25, 2015.

The captivating 90-second behind-the-scenes footage offers insightful perspective on the making of this adrenaline-charged attraction along with interviews with several of the Fast & Furious franchise cast members and stars of the ride, including Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson.

The first-look footage can be accessed here and debuts nationally on NBC during the special telecast of “Fast Five” on Saturday, March 21, at 8:00 p.m. ET / PT

“Fast & Furious—Supercharged” is a technologically advanced, epic ride that reunites stars from the Fast & Furious series in a groundbreaking mega-attraction, conceived as a new installment to the Fast & Furious films that can only be experienced at The Entertainment Capital of L.A.  Featuring Vin Diesel (Dominic “Dom” Toretto), Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs), Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz), Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce) and Luke Evans (Owen Shaw), “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” will catapult guests into the high-stakes underground world of fast cars in a harrowing escapade—at perceived speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour—to save one of their own from an international crime cartel.

Sharing their enthusiasm for “Fast & Furious—Supercharged,” cast members had this to say during their on-set interviews for the behind-the-scenes shoot:

“I get a chance to become Luke Hobbs and kick-ass…all in 3D,” said Dwayne Johnson.

“It’s really a sensory driven experience, and I can’t wait to see what happens,” commented Michelle Rodriguez.

Tyrese Gibson added, “Everything about Universal Studios puts you in the driver’s seat to really experience Hollywood.”

“Fast & Furious—Supercharged” is a high-octane, adrenaline-fueled thrill ride and new grand finale to the world-famous Studio Tour.  The dynamic hydraulic motion-based ride will tell an original Fast & Furious story that fuses sophisticated hyper-realistic special effects with a state-of-the-art 3D audio system and 3D-HD imagery, projected onto the world’s longest and most expansive 360-degree screen.  Spanning nearly 400 feet in length to encircle Studio Tour guests within a newly constructed 65,000-square-foot structure on the legendary backlot, the sprawling custom-built screen will employ 34, 4K projectors and a sophisticated projection configuration system to envelop guests in unprecedented realism.

Coupled with an intense blend of thrilling visceral effects, “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” will take guests on a wild ride that begins the moment they board the Studio Tour.  Exclusive interstitial content—that was filmed with the cast members—will be featured on the tram monitors—highlighting interactions as they engage guests en route to the ride’s climatic scenes.  Along the tram route and featured on the ride, sightings of numerous prop cars from the Fast & Furious series, including Dom’s iconic Dodge Charger, will enhance the story.

Join the conversation online using #FastFuriousRide, and for all the latest news, “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @UniStudios.

Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue.  World-class rides and attractions include the incredibly popular 3D Ultra-HD adventure, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and immersive “Super Silly Fun Land,” the critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™:  The Ride-3D,” the intense, award-winning ride, “King Kong 360 3-D” on the behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, “Revenge of the MummySM—The Ride” and “Jurassic Park® —The Ride.” As part of its milestone 50th anniversary celebration in 2015, Universal Studios Hollywood will debut a slate of dynamic new attractions, including the electrifying 3D-HD thrill ride, “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” as the grand finale to the famed Studio Tour, “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM” and the “Nighttime Studio Tour,” offering evening tours of the iconic movie backlot.




Credit: Universal Studios.


Toopy HULU banner image

TOOPY AND BINOOkaboom! Entertainment’s most beloved Canadian preschool brand – is available in the U.S., only on Hulu.


With the launch of Season 2 this week, we want to encourage you and your kids to check out on this cat and mouse duo and all their imaginative antics! With Season 1+2 fully available on the platform, take some time this weekend to catch up on Toopy and Binoo.


What is Toopy and Binoo?

Toopy is a mouse with a very vivid imagination. He’s spontaneous and sees the world around him with an innocence that allows for anything and everything to be transformed. Binoo, the tiny cat, is the perfect sidekick for Toopy. He shares the same sense of wonder in their adventures, but his perceptiveness allows him to see the things that Toopy misses. To get a sense of this dynamic duo, check out the show opener. WARNING – it’s extremely catchy:


What is Hulu?

Hulu is a premium streaming TV destination that seeks to captivate and connect viewers with the stories they love. The platform creates viewing experiences that celebrate the best of entertainment and technology, which is one of the many reasons kaboom! choose it as the premium destination to host one of our favorite brands in a new market.


Take advantage of Hulu’s spectacular TV bundle where ONE episode on the platform equals FIVE on a DVD! Toopy and Binoo is the perfect preschool program that teaches kids about problem solving, teamwork, and FUN, so don’t wait and watch Season 1+2 right now for FREE:

Credit: Hulu/Toopy and Binoo: kaboom! Entertainment.

Quick, Easy Ways to Pet-Proof Your Home

To truly pet-proof your home, start by getting down on the floor to see the world the way your pet sees it. This allows you to spot potential hazards that you might not notice from your vantage point.


  • Treat your Pet like you would a Child: Active puppies and kittens can easily get into dangerous situations. Use safety gates in areas where dangerous holiday items are to prevent your pet from getting into trouble.


  • Take Caution with Wires: Pets can easily injure themselves with electrical wires, and outlets. Use caution when hanging up holiday lights on trees and around the house. Secure all electrical cords and outlets and keep your dog in areas of your home where cords cannot be accessed.


  • Avoid Specific Plants: Plants can be poisonous for pets, so be cautious when placing holiday wreaths, flowers and plants around the house where your dog can easily access them.


  • Candles: Lit candles pose a serious threat to both your dog and your home. Keep your dog away from candles because they can easily be knocked down creating a fire hazard.


  • Hide the Trash Can: A hyper puppy can easily knock over a trash can and spread garbage and bacteria throughout your home. In addition, dogs can choke on hazardous items so be sure to properly dispose of all holiday wrapping and keep it out of your dog’s reach.


  • Utilize a Sofa Cover: To avoid fur on your loveseat, use a seat or slipcover to avoid a mess before guests arrive.  Sure Fit offers pet covers that are great for the home and car that are also hypoallergenic.


  • Be Careful with Fruit and Candy Baskets: Holiday treats will inevitably be present during this season, but grapes (and raisins), chocolate and other holiday treats are actually deadly for dogs. Candy wrappers can also be threatening to your dog, so be sure to throw away all wrappers in a place where your dog can’t get to them.

Credit: Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow

NuElle Triple Action Anti Cellulite Concentrate Really seems to work!


I like that this product is all natural with organic ingredients. It contains top 20+ well known botanical cellulite fighting ingredients.I have to admit that I was slightly concerned about the ‘sauna’ effect that I read about before using but it really is just a warm feeling and not uncomfortable. It does seem that my skin is tighter after I use it. I usually use it in the morning and I like that there is no unpleasant smell. Actually, the smell is pleasant. I have been using it for a couple of weeks and actually have noticed improvement. It seems to do what it says it will do. The results have not been dramatic but like I said, I have only used it for a short time.

More info:

* Contains top 20+ well known botanical cellulite fighting ingredients
* Diuretic, improves circulation, reduces the appearance of cellulite overtime, Firming, detoxifying, organic and all natural

* Light cream texture, easy to apply, fast absorbing. Creates sauna effect. (warming, not thingling or burning)

You can purchase on Ships and is sold by Argania.

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