Archives for May 11, 2015

FIRST LOOK! Action Image of Vin Diesel as Dominic “Dom” Toretto in the New Thrill Ride

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Universal Studios HollywoodSM continues its “Road to Fast” campaign with the debut of a Vin Diesel (“Dominic “Dom” Toretto”) image for its all-new thrill ride “Fast & Furious—Supercharged,” opening June 25 as the grand finale of the world-famous Studio Tour.

A lengthier, more detailed look at the making-of this revolutionary new attraction, featuring commentary from the cast, including Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Luke Evans and the producers, can be seen here.

“This is new territory for us…to create something as immortal and immersive as this…that all the fans of our franchise can actually live through and be a part of,” said Vin Diesel.  “It’s a testament to that loyal and dedicated fan community that has always been our #1 champion.”

“Once you go on the ride, it’s an opportunity to physically feel some of the adrenaline that we feel everyday while we’re filming,” continued Vin Diesel, adding, “Yeah, I’m excited to ride it!”

“Fast & Furious—Supercharged” is a technologically advanced, epic ride that reunites stars from the Fast & Furiousseries in a groundbreaking mega-attraction designed to catapult guests into the high-stakes underground world of street racing at perceived speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour.  This high-octane ride is conceived as a new installment to theFast & Furious franchise and will debut as the grand finale to Universal Studios Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes Studio Tour that can only be experienced at The Entertainment Capital of L.A.

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

Credit: Universal Studios.

FamilyFun happiness by the numbers

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In a recent survey of U.S. families conducted by FamilyFun magazine, parents rated their family’s happiness 17 percent higher today than when they were kids. The survey results andFamilyFun’s “Happy Family Playbook” were released today as part of the magazine’s special May “Happiness” issue.

U.S. parents and children who responded to the survey shared their family meal preferences, favorite activities, and how family happiness compares to previous generations. Striking statistics from the survey include:

  • 52% of families say more money would make their families happier vs. 48% who believe more time together would help family contentment
  • 88% say a weekly family game night would make their families happier than the 12%who’d prefer a new, big-screen TV
  • 71% of families would rather experience a dream vacation together than enjoy a renovated family room space
  • Vacations ranked #1 by both parents and kids as the top activity to generate family happiness while outings to local zoos and museums and playing board/video games together followed closely behind
  • Overall, parents rate their family’s happiness 17%higher today than when they were kids

For families looking for happiness tips, the May issue also includes seven ways to dial-up family happiness this year—including performing random acts of kindness and unplugging from electronics.

Credit: FamilyFun Magazine.

Burke Williams Introduces a New Twist to Emilee’s Infused Enjoy this refreshed signature treatment at a very special price through June 14


Burke Williams Day Spa is pleased to introduce a fresh twist to a classic favorite with the all-new Emilee’s Infused treatment. Experience this signature 75—minute service for a very special price now through June 14.


The all-new Emilee’s Infused incorporates a unique body wrap with massage and an aromatherapy blend all combined to soothe the senses and soften the skin. Designed to relax and hydrate the skin while repairing skin cells, organic honey infused with rosemary is massaged into the skin followed by a tension releasing deep rolling of muscle tissues. During the body wrap, the guest experiences both a nourishing scalp treatment and signature foot massage.


Experience this classic treatment with a new twist by June 14 and receive the 75-minute service starting for just $149, regularly priced at $189 and higher. Visit a Burke Williams near you and venture beyond the spa with a signature treatment today.


Emilee’s Infused

75-minute treatment: $149 (regular price $189), $159 in San Francisco (regular price $205)

Credit: Burke Williams Day Spa.

For over 30 years Burke Williams Day Spa has been committed to creating an environment of refinement that inspires and provides its guest with a luxurious sanctuary to unwind. With nine locations across Northern and Southern California, relaxation awaits with each of our European-inspired treatments including massage therapybody wrapsfacialsmanicurespedicures,baths, and an array of signature spa services.

Big Tractors with Casey & Friends Written by Holly Dufek, Illustrated by Paul E. Nunn Giveaway Opportunity!

BigTractors-cover    CASEIH Tractor Toy

There’s a new series for kids obsessed with tractors. “Casey & Friends” books offer a glimpse into farm life and the machines of modern agriculture.

Young tractor fans (ages 4-8) love the use of real photos that show iconic red CASE IH tractors and other farm equipment in action. A cast of cartoon characters explain how they work. Parents appreciate all the added learning possibilities found in the sidebars, picture glossaries and fun farming facts.

The author is seasoned educator and national curriculum writer Holly Dufek. She joins Pixar “Cars” artist Paul Nunn to help kids make the connection with the farm equipment they see in the countryside and the food on their table.

I received a book titled Big Tractors with Casey & Friends. This one shows how the biggest, most powerful tractors handle the demanding jobs of pulling and powering on the farm. Find out how Big Red and Sammy – the biggest tractors on the farm – use their powerful muscles to work in the field with the rest of the team. Learn about the science of farming and discover how advanced technology makes Big Red and Sammy special. I think young children will love learning about the tractors and they will love the illustrations that make the story and characters come to life! 

Published by Octane Press.

I also received a CASE IH toy tractor. Single front & rear duals, detailed interior, free rolling wheels | MSRP $8.50. Recommended for ages 3+. Little boys and girls will also love this fun toy!

We have teamed up for a Giveaway! Leave a comment below telling us why you think your child would love to win this book and toy! Deadline to enter is May 15th, 2015 at noon PST. U.S. entries only please. One winner will randomly be selected via

Self Disclosure: I received a free book and toy to facilitate this feature/giveaway. No other compensation was received.

“Mad Dogs” by I.B. Gumnut and “The Perfect Place for Toodles” by Barbara Pierce The purrfect books for children to celebrate their love for their furry friends!

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Do you have children and a pet dog or cat? If so, your younger children will love these two books! Even if they don’t have pets yet..these are delightful stories with fun illustrations.

In “Mad Dogs,” Gumnut tells the colorful story of two sheepdogs, Red and Blue, who take a motorbike out for a spin after a long day of herding sheep in the Australian Outback. Inspired by Gumnut’s pet dog, Lady, who often enjoys riding on the front of his motorbike with him, “Mad Dogs” encourages children to retain their sense of adventure after the day’s work is done.

In “The Perfect Place for Toodles,” Pierce promotes paw-sitive pet parenting through stray kitten Toodles and his journey through adoption, growth and ultimate independence. Toodles’ story relays the important message to children that having a pet requires great responsibility, and that they, too, have needs and feelings.

I received copies of both books and recommend them for children ages 4-8. They are easy to read and fun to read. I love that they both have meaningful lessons for young children to learn such as pets are a responsibility in Toodles.

You can purchase at the following:

“Mad Dogs” : Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Balboa Press
“The Perfect Place for Toodles” : Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Xlibris
Self Disclosure: I received free copies of these books to facilitate this post. I recommend both.

CoreThird Express 3,000mAh ultra-compact portable charger A Must-Have for Travel!

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This is just perfect for on-the-go travel! We are a techie family, I guess. Never thought that I would admit to that! But, this is small and powerful. I love that it is so small that it can fit easily in my purse.It could easily fit in a pocket too. Excellent quality and charges quickly! What more could you ask for? I recommend for everyone in the family! The Core Third Express Power Bank Portable Charger is a must-have! I love that it can be used with so many different things such as Tablets, Cellphones and our iPad. I also love the design. I received the Blue but it is also available in Pink.  It has High-Capacity: 3,000mAH of extra battery juice for your device. Now, I just think I need to buy one for every family member so we don’t have to share!

You can purchase on

We have teamed up for a Giveaway! One winner will win! To enter, leave us a comment below telling us why this would be most useful for you or your family! Deadline to enter is May 15th, 2015 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected via Also, let us know which color you would prefer!

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

Whatever the Cost by David Benham and Jason Benham Inspirational and Motivational!

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This book follows the story of highly motivated and entrepreneurial twin brothers, David and Jason Benham, from their formative years and ventures into professional baseball, to their rise as owners of a multi-million dollar business empire and securing an HGTV reality series. It’s a journey where the brothers learned to die to their dreams not just once, but twice as they walked away from baseball before being called up to the Big Show, and later as their TV series was stripped away from them when the network succumbed to media pressures surrounding their faith. These experiences only helped them realize that the key to powerful living is found when you die to your dreams and face your fears, and choose to live powerfully through it all. The biblical principles they use to guide their work and families are revealed in practical terms to apply to our daily lives and give us courage to stand for what is right.

I love how this one really has an emphasis on facing your fears and to have courage. It is very inspirational and motivational!

You can purchase on

Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to facilitate this feature.

Life After The Storm: God Will Carry You Through by Jan Harrsion Inspirational and a Must-Read!

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Seasoned Bible teacher and speaker Jan Harrison’s world turned upside down when she received the news of her 27-year-old son’s untimely death. In her upcoming book, Life After the Storm: God Will Carry You Through, Harrison shares how she found the strength to weather the storm, and how others can do the same for whatever storms life throws at them. When Harrison learned of her son James’ death, her years of faith and study were tested. She learned to put her faith into practice, relying on God to provide for her every need. In that journey, she discovered the importance of hope, faith and encouragement, and has made it her goal to equip and encourage readers through their storms.

I received a copy of this book to read and facilitate this post. I found it very inspirational and recommend it especially to those who are in need of encouragement. This really will help you to put a more positive light on life in general.

You can purchase on

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post. No other compensation was received to post.