Archives for October 2, 2015

Avon Foundation for Women’s NEW fundraising products for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and you should check out Avon Foundation for Women’s NEW fundraising products.

Fergie’s newest fragrance, Outspoken Party!, ($34) is launching this October and was created to celebrate breast cancer survivors and research progress. Throughout the month of October, Avon will donate $5 from every purchase of Outspoken by Fergie full size EDP purchase to the Avon Foundation for Women to help conquer breast cancer.

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I received a really pretty Floral Tote Bag. 

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Price: $15

·         This Avon exclusive is the perfect bag for the gym, work and everyday errands!

·         ($3) will be donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.

I like how large it is and the really pretty design! It is a Must-Have for running around town doing your errands! Great for the Farmer’s Market too!

Other products available:

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH PRODUCTS:

Product Product Details
Ribbon Cord Bracelet

 

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·         Price: $6

·         The beautiful Ribbon Cord Bracelet is made of a pink cord and is connected by the Breast Cancer Ribbon charm.

·         $1.20 will be donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade

Mega Effects Mascara

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·         Price: $10

·         The Wonderbrush bends and adjusts to multiple angles capturing every lash, top to bottom.

·         Avon will donate 20% of proceeds of net profits for every Mega Mascara sold.

 

 

Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Skin So Soft Oil

 

 

·         Price: $10

·         Boosts skin’s overall hydration, and restores skin’s essential moisture with Argan Oil.

·         20% of the net profits ($2) will be donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade

·         16.9 fl. oz

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

 

Disney Hatch’n Heroes are so much fun! These will make a great holiday gift!

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Disney-themed Hatch’N Heroes are exactly what they are cracked up to be – a surprising, unique way to play with your favorite Disney characters.

Before you know it, it’s going to be holiday season and Bandai’s new creative Hatch‘n Heroes toy line is perfect for stocking stuffers, any night of Hannukah, a tooth fairy gift  or just because – they are fun toys keep little hands busy at a great price!

 

Each figure starts in its simple oval shape “egg.” A couple twists and the egg transforms into an iconic Disney figure including: Lightning McQueen, Mater, Francesco, The King, Sheriff and Red from the Cars Hatch‘n Heroes line; Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Rex, Bullseye and the Little Green Men/Aliens from the Toy Story Hatch‘n Heroes line; and Nurse Bot Baymax and Armored Up Baymax from Disney’s Big Hero 6 Hatch‘n Heroes line.

I received the Nurse Bot Baymax and Armored Up Baymax and they are just really cool! I really recommend these for gifts for the upcoming holidays!  They are just so much fun! They are also the perfect size for upcoming stocking stuffers for the holidays. They really are quite unique!

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Ideal for kids ages 4 to 7, each Hatch‘n Heroes character is sold separately and available for a suggested price of $6.99 at retailers, including Toys“R”Us, Kmart and Amazon.

Follow them on Facebook too!

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

The Intern – Beats All Expectations! Absolutely Fab!

TheIntern

The Intern stars Robert De Niro as 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker who discovers that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Harmony M (age 16) comments, “Add The Intern to your list of “must-watch” movies because this delightful comedy beats all expectations.” Mia A. (age 11) adds, “I love the relationship between Jules and Ben because it is realistic and heartwarming.  Ben is funny without trying to be, is friendly and kind and would make a very good grandpa or Dad. “  See their full reviews below.

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The Intern

By Harmony M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

 

Add The Intern to your list of “must-watch” movies because this delightful comedy beats all expectations. The film is about charming, 70-year-old Ben Whittaker, played by Robert De Niro, and his quest to join the work force after already being retired. Upon receiving the position of a senior intern at an online fashion website, he finds himself bonding with all the other young co-workers and is immediately loved by everyone. Ben is then assigned to intern for the owner of the company, Jules Ostin, and their opposite personalities create a bond between them that helps them through their lives.

The film’s outstanding choice of actors really impacts the quality of the movie because if Robert De Niro didn’t play Ben, I wouldn’t have been as attached to his character. The character development is the biggest aspect of the movie and, since they use great actors, they successfully win the hearts of the audience and build a bond with the viewer instantly.

I am really impressed with the comedy because I feel as though comedies these days are too desperate to be funny and it’s really obvious. They often throw in as many famous people as they can and have an under-developed plot to make the movie feel like a joke that should not be taken seriously. The Intern, however, is hilarious while remaining sophisticated. It is surprisingly funny and I caught myself cracking up all the time. The plot is very well developed and includes plot twists and a climax that I honestly would not expect.

The ending is fulfilling which saved me from my fear of being left hanging or disappointed since the whole movie leading up to it is amazing. The film is enjoyable for people of all interests, ages and genders because it’s an all around feel-good movie that you don’t need to be in a certain mood to watch.

The dialogue is insanely natural and realistic which makes it hard for me to believe that the lines are from a script. The little details like facial expressions or even a comment said under a character’s breath really made the movie authentic. I also enjoyed the amazing storyline and moral messages.

I will definitely watch this film again and encourage my friends and family to watch it as well because it is worth seeing.  This film is best suited for ages of 13 to 18 as well as adult and I give it 4 ½ out of 5 stars.  Check it out coming to theaters near you on September 25th!

The Intern

By Mia A, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

 

The Intern, directed by Nancy Meyers, is very funny and entertaining.  While this film is not action packed or suspenseful, I enjoyed every minute and genuinely cared about the characters.

The story is about a retired widow named Ben (Robert De Niro) who is looking for something to fill the empty spaces in his life, so he becomes an intern at a fashion industry business.  He ends up interning for Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) and tags along while she lives her crazy life. It is hard for her to be a wife, mother, run an online fashion business and do everything well.   The Intern is what I like to call a “mutt genre,” combining more than one genre in one movie – in this case it is comedy and drama.
I love the relationship between Jules and Ben because it is realistic and heartwarming.  Ben is funny without trying to be, is friendly and kind and would make a very good grandpa or Dad.  My mom says that Robert De Niro is in a lot of what our family calls “shoot ‘em up, kill ‘em up” movies.  He must be a really good actor because the character he plays in this movie, Ben is so kind and sensitive.

 

I have been a big Anne Hathaway fan since Ella Enchanted was released and this is one of my favorite movies that she has been in.  She is completely believable as Jules.  My favorite character though is Becky (Christina Scherer) because she is hilarious in a dramatically funny kind of way.  I hope that she will be in other movies because I can easily become a fan. The acting is very strong and all the actors pull together a perfectly wonderful film which I appreciate.

 

The message to this story is that there will always be someone in life to help you through your problems.  Jules is surprised that the person who helps her is not who she thought it would be. Family is not always blood related, your closet family can be anyone, even friends.

I recommend The Intern for ages 12 to 18 due to mild language and suggestive and awkward touching.  I rate it 5 out of 5 sparkling golden stars.   If you are looking for an entertaining movie that is easy to watch, go see The Intern in theatres near you starting September 25.

 

Film Trailer:

 

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

Some fun gadgets for the whole family

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There’s no use denying it – we’re living in a technological age. We’re spending more of our time engaging with technology which is vastly improving our lives and those of our children. Whether you’re planning a long journey and hoping to find something that will keep the children entertained or something for them (and you) to do your homework on, these fun gadgets will be of use to all members of the family:

 

Projectors like Phillips’ PicoPix Portable Projector

 

Whether you’re movie buffs who love nothing more than snuggling under a duvet on a rainy day together or want to enjoy looking through slide shows of family photographs, a projector would make a valuable addition to family life. They’re incredibly easy to use – usually connecting through a USB connection to your laptop and make transforming your home into a cinema a straightforward affair. They come in a range of prices, this Phillips’ one is only £169.99 – a midrange product, and because it’s portable it can easily be packed away to minimise the risk of being damaged. All you need to do is decide what you’d like to watch, find a blank wall and make the popcorn!

 

Tablets like Apple’s iPad

 

Tablets are incredibly versatile and can be used for pretty much everything, making them a valuable addition to the home. Through downloading educational apps they can help children with their homework or learning. Similarly, they can be used for entertainment if you want to watch some videos on there. Browsing the internet is incredibly straightforward too, making it easy to do the grocery shopping online or play games. Once the children go to bed, you can easily relax on the sofa and play some poker or blackjack by visiting http://cad.SpinPalace.com. The size and resolution of the iPad screen make playing games or watching films into an immersive experience, perfect for winding down in the evening.

 

eReaders like Amazon’s Kindle

 

When the children suddenly remember that they’re supposed to have read To Kill a Mockingbird by tomorrow morning or you want to bring a PDF document into work but can’t print it out, a kindle would be a lifesaver. They’re increasingly more affordable and available in a range of prices depending on what you need them for. The basic premise is that you can purchase an eBook online and have it on your kindle and be able to read it within moments. They come in especially handy if you’re travelling but don’t want to bring a range of books – simply download a range onto the kindle and you’ll have something for everyone without the bulk and weight of a travelling library!

 

The Time Garden by Korean artist Daria Song

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By now you have probably heard about how coloring can relief stress! It seems to be the latest craze and I can see why. Coloring has always had a calming effect on me. The Time Garden is an international bestseller with already 200,000 copies in print. It’s a really beautiful book! I love how detailed the coloring pages are.  The next book in the series, The Time Chamber, continues the exciting tale through a dream-like world. This next one will be available  on 10/13/15.

Adults all over the world have turned to coloring for de-stressing, relaxation, and fun. The Time Garden and The Time Chamber are beautiful giftable items, inspiring creativity and meditative fun.

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DARIA SONG is an author, artist, and curator with a master’s degree in fiber arts from the Ewha Womans University Graduate School of Fine Arts. Winner of the Kyung Hyang Arts Contest, Song has exhibited at numerous galleries in Korea, Singapore, Turkey, and Hong Kong including Imazoo Gallery, Young Gallery, Sun Gallery, and Seoho Museum of Art. She lived and studied in San Francisco for three years before returning to Korea to create the art for the internationally best-selling adult coloring book, The Time Garden. She lives in Seoul, Korea.

Available on Amazon.com.

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample of The Time Garden to facilitate this post. 

The Martian – One Of The Best Movies Of This Decade

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This 2015 space odyssey delivers an emotional survival story filled with humor and love Matt Damon’s performance really steals the show and the direction by Ridley Scott is perhaps his best in years. Based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, we are drawn in by the humanness of the situation when Astronaut Mark Watney is left behind by his crew and finds himself stranded and alone on a hostile planet. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Willie J. comments, “The sheer message and theme of this movie and the way they’re presented is what gives this movie its greatness. It’s a movie that explores the human condition and has something positive to say about it.” Keefer B. adds, “This film executes this kind of story in a novel way… Not only is it a captivating scenario that keeps you on the edge of your seat but, the protagonist is incredibly likable and complex.” See their full reviews below.

 

The Martian

By Willie J, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

 

 

Ridley Scott turns in his finest film since Blade Runner. The Martian is such a touching film, that its flaws can be easily overlooked and forgotten. The sheer message and theme of this movie and the way they’re presented is what gives this movie its greatness. It’s a movie that explores the human condition and has something positive to say about it. We need that in today’s cinema and I thank the cast and crew of this movie for giving us this gem. It’s an experience worth having.

 

The Martian stars Matt Damon in one of his career best performances as an astronaut who gets stuck on Mars when his teams leaves him behind, thinking he’s dead after he is struck by debris in the middle of a storm. When he is able to get in touch with NASA, their higher-ups and a few other organizations, rally up to rescue him. I have to tell you that is NOT like Gravity. It is not a one-man show,though Damon does have significant screen time. There is an entire supporting ensemble that provides serviceable and strong performances. And yet, despite the acting of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Peña, Matt Damon does steal the show. He is very committed with every character choice and really inhabits the man he’s portraying. Damon doesn’t layer him with underlying sadness or anxiety, instead he shows us the determination of a man who has weighed his options, and has chosen to do something about his situation. Towards the end, when he finally breaks down, it hits us harder. We get choked up seeing this person who has stayed strong for so long and then finally lets out what he’s been holding back. It’s a powerful thing.

 

Secondly, the film has an amazing tone. With a soundtrack filled with Gloria Gaynor, ABBA, and David Bowie, the fun of this movie won’t go understated. The soundtrack compliments the numerous comedic moments that come at a rate that could have this film labeled as a sci-fi comedy. It is funny and entertaining and will have you dancing or humming along. It’s good Scott gave this movie this tone because it matches the lasting message he wants us to have – that even though the situation is bad, a combination of survival instincts and intelligence can get us through it. And, with the love and care of others, a seemingly insurmountable situation becomes surmountable.
I’ll tell you my favorite part. There is a moment in the movie when NASA is having trouble getting supplies to our protagonist and the issues are being broadcast. A major science organization is watching it from China, and they decide to help out NASA. There are no hard feelings, ill will, prideful rejections or rivalries going on. The Chinese organization asks for nothing in return. It is just two organization banning together for the same cause. It is beautiful and speaks volumes, especially considering the public perception of American-Chinese relations.

 

Now there are those who may say that the tone demeans the more dramatic moments, but I disagree. The dramatic moments in this movie aren’t really all that dramatic anyway. They’re more like lighthearted drama if anything. There is one moment in the movie in which we abruptly and rather un-smoothly get shown the inevitable “problem” within the film. The Debbie Downer that the protagonist must overcome to make his victory that much sweeter. I’ll admit, it isn’t presented in the best way, but that’s not the most dramatic part of the film. That comes at the time our main character believes he’s about to go home. That moment is built not by the tone of the film, but by the performance of Matt Damon.

 

As a matter of fact, the only criticism other than the aforementioned is the pacing of the movie. It’s about 10 minutes too long. There are many throwaway scenes, scenes that aren’t necessary and could be done without whether because they’re repetitive, or just get in the way of Scott getting to his point quicker and more effectively. The problems ensue towards the end as well, when the pacing suffers and so does the tension. It is so close to being what it should have been, but I wasn’t hanging on as much as I could or should have. That’s because of the moment of comedic relief that is added and the same with many of the scenes I mentioned. There are some scenes that are necessary, or helpful, but could be trimmed down.

 

Nonetheless, the flaws are minor and able to be overlooked. The Martian is still one of the best movies of this decade. With that said, I give this movie 5 out 5 stars and, due to some surprisingly frequent language, I recommend it for ages 13 to 18. It opens October 2 at a theater near you. Please go see it.

 

The Martian

By Keefer C. Blakeslee, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

 

 

This is a brilliant film sprinkled with surprising wit and cleverness. Based on the acclaimed book of the same name by Andy Weir, Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is an astronaut that is left on Mars after an emergency evacuation. Presumed dead, Watney survives but has a limited amount of food and water so he must use his intelligence and spirit to get back in contact with NASA and return home.

I went into this film with no previous history with the story. Personally I love films about survival. Whether it’s in space or on a desert island, I enjoy stories about how a character uses their human instincts to survive. This film executes this kind of story in a novel way. It’s unique from other space survival films, like Gravity and Apollo 13, because the protagonist is not in the vacuum of space but actually on a planet that is unlivable. He has to adapt to the harshness of the planet to stay alive. Not only is it a captivating scenario that keeps you on the edge of your seat but, the protagonist is incredibly likable and complex.

 

Matt Damon’s charm is perhaps the best part of the film. Watney, of course, has his low points but he gives wise cracks about his problems, almost looking at the situation from a satirical way. One might say it’s a sign of him descending into madness but it’s what keeps him alive. Groucho Marx once said, “Humor is reason gone mad,” and, in this case, he is right. Only a mad person would see the odds stack against him and still try to pull off, what many think is the impossible. So, he’s not spitting wise cracks just to amuse himself but to fuel his insanity to keep pushing through. Not only is he my favorite character in the film but after careful observation he maybe one of my favorite characters in general.

 

I have to mention the stunning cinematography done by Dariusz Wolski. Wolski has recently worked with director Ridley Scott on Exodus: Gods and Kings and Prometheus. In this third collaboration with Scott he has created this desolate and visually beautiful Mars. I watched this film in 3D / IMAX and, even if you don’t catch this film in 3D it still feels like you are transported into Mars and space.

 

The message of this film projects is that “if there is a problem, you figure out a way to solve it until it’s over.” Watney faces many obstacles in the beginning – the chance of starvation, dehydration, dealing with Mar’s deadly atmosphere, lack of oxygen and no way to communicate with Earth. What does Wateny do? He tries to figure out a solution for each problem. That goes back to the insanity quality I mentioned previously. Perseverance is another admirable quality of this character. That “If I’m going to die, I’m gonna die trying” attitude gives us all the more reason to root for him and his return to Earth.

I easily give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 14- through 18-year-olds.

There is the use of the F word twice in the film, the rest are muted or mouthed. Also this film goes on for a while and, to be honest, younger audiences may get bored at some points. If you have the opportunity to see this film, I highly recommend it. What a great way to continue the fall films!! It opens in theaters October 2nd

 

 

 

Credit: KIDS FIRST!