Archives for November 2017

Glam in Grey with Sally Hansen and Rimmel London!

Get glam in grey this fall with the most beautiful nail and lip colors from Sally Hansen and Rimmel London. Grey is the perfect must have neutral for the fall season and was one of the top colors seen on the runways as the must have autumn shade! I received these products and love them! They are just perfect for the Fall!

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Get ready for a bold, matte lip-look that stays on. Rimmel London introduces Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour, a new liquid lipstick with high-intensity colour, a velvety matte finish and a long-lasting, comfortable wear. (Above photo color: Shadow)

Rimmel London ScandalEyes Eyeshadow Stick ($4.49)
Creamy, soft blendable formula, easily sharpened tip and high impact lasting color.
Shown above in Guilty Grey.
Rimmel London Magnif-Eyes Mono Eyeshadow ($2.98)

This beautiful shadow is silky smooth and has high impact colour for all-day wear. The ultra-blendable formula comes in a range of finishes from mattes, Shimmers, to high glitter. Shown above in Showoff.

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Sally Hansen Miracle Gel ($9.99)
The #1 no light gel system!* In just two easy steps get up to 14 days of color and shine. More chip-resistant than regular nail polish!
Shown above in  Stilettos and Studs and Greyfitti.
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Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color ($4.99)
Insta-Dri® fast-dry nail polish is formulated with a base and top coat for extended wear and stunning shine all in one coat!
Features a unique brush that contours to the nail for a smooth, easy application
Shown above in Seize The Grey. I love the Insta-Dri Nail Color because it really does dry super quick!
Look for all of the above products where Sally Hansen and Rimmel London products are sold! 
Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. 

Family Packing Made Simple with Packing Cubes from EatSmart Products!


EatSmart Products, a leading designer, and manufacturer of innovative travel and health care products has something really cool:  TravelWise 5 Piece Packing Cube System.

The TravelWise 5 piece packing cube set is a travel essential for kids that allows clothes to stay folded and neat when packed in their own “small drawers”. The cubes are fantastic for staying organized on both short and long travels and help avoid over packing. Constructed of lightweight, durable nylon, these multi-sized cubes allow you to compartmentalize similar items such as shirts, pants, swimsuits and toys to streamline packing. The open mesh top makes searching for misplaced items a thing of the past and their five color choices allows each family member to have their own individual set. My favorite is the purple!

Available in five colors – black, silver, red, teal and purple, each set includes (1) small, (2) medium and (2) large cubes to organize different sized items when traveling. *They also added new colors this past September. 

I really like these because they are compact, easy to use and I like the idea of each family member having their own set! These are perfect for travel too!

 Price | Where to buy: 
$24.95 | and EatSmart Products website

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

Creative Holiday Gifts with Nielsen-Massey Vanillas & McCrea’s Candies! Holiday Giveaway Opportunity!

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This holiday season here are some creative gift ideas from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas and McCrea’s Candies. The two company’s flavors pair perfectly together, creating an outstanding, original present that will stand out from the crowd! Some ideas include:

  • Hostess Gift – For the hostess who has it all, these luxurious products are the perfect, scrumptious way to say thank you.
  • Infused Holiday Drinks – Make a homemade, infused Salted Caramel & Coffee Vodka for a unique signature drink that’ll be the hit of the holiday party.
  • Caramel + Sugar + Herb – Create a sweet and savory gift for the foodie by pairing the products with a planted herb—it’s a beautiful and useful present that’s sure to delight!

I received the following:
· McCrea’s Black Lava Sea Salt Caramels (5.5 oz tube, $14.95) — Rich, creamy caramel with crystals of Hawaiian black sea salt. A moment in paradise.
· McCrea’s Classic Vanilla Caramels (5.5 oz tube, $14.95) — McCrea’s original caramel generously infused with sweet, aromatic vanilla. For the purist
· Nielsen- Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar (7.5 oz jar, $23) — A flavorful blend of gourmet baker’s sugar and the pinnacle of all vanillas, Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. Use it in any recipe where vanilla and the sweetness of sugar are desired.
· Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Coffee Extract (2 oz bottle, $9) — The rich, freshly brewed flavor is achieved through our careful distillation of premium coffee beans. This concentrated extract is easy to keep on hand, unlike ground coffee or beans, which rapidly lose their flavor.

I love all these items! My favorite is the McCrea’s Classic Vanilla Caramels and the Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar! These items have been a real hit in our house this holiday season!

We have also teamed up for a Holiday Giveaway! One winner will win a gift package with the items listed above! To enter, leave a comment below telling us your favorite thing about the holiday season! Deadline to enter is December 5th, 2017 at noon PST. U.S. Residents only, please. 


Don’t forget to check out Nielsen-Massey FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages and McCrea’s Candies FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this holiday post. Images and information were also provided and a prize will be sent to the winner of the giveaway. 

Kids Rule In Carlsbad! 8 yr old Anthony J. elected Mini Mayor of Carlsbad, Kidifornia

Eight-year-old Carlsbad resident Anthony J. has taken Mayor Matt Hall’s declaration “Kids rule in Carlsbad” to heart and was voted the first Mini Mayor of Carlsbad, Kidifornia. The destination’s tourism entity, Visit Carlsbad, announced today the names of the four members of the city’s first Kid-Cabinet, part of their family-friendly campaign to promote the city as the top travel destination for kids. By forming the first kid-run government, Visit Carlsbad paves the way for the city to become the capital of Kidifornia and raises awareness of the destination as ideal for families.

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“The team was incredibly impressed with the many #MiniMayorCarlsbad contributions on social media, but Anthony’s submission stood out for its creativity, deep understanding of the city, and evident love for Carlsbad,” says Visit Carlsbad Executive Director Sam Ross. “Anthony showed the fun stuff, as well as places to learn, and the hidden jewels of the city, such as our very own volcano. He also supported an educational and environmental platform—which befits a true civic-minded politician.”

Carlsbad’s search for the Kid-Cabinet stems from Visit California’s own tourism campaign announced earlier this year, which renames the state Kidifornia and highlights a selection of family-friendly experiences to enjoy. “Kidifornia is all about family experiences,” says Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and CEO. “Kids rule here in The Golden State, and we’re thrilled to see Visit Carlsbad create the first kid-led government in Kidifornia.”

The first item on the agenda of Carlsbad’s Mini Mayor will be to deepen his appreciation of the city and connect with the residents, which Anthony and his family will do while enjoying the campaign prize including two nights at West Inn & Suites, dinner at Bistro West, lunch at Grubby’s, and park passes to LEGOLAND. Over the coming year, Visit Carlsbad will work with the Mini Mayor to experience new kid-friendly tourism initiatives and keep the dialogue going with the kids of Carlsbad.

Carlsbad Mini Mayor Anthony J. begins his term in office aside his very own Kid-Cabinet, which includes Head of R&D Josh K., selected at random from participants in the campaign’s Kid’s Check Out Survey. The city’s first research project, an online survey on what kids love most about Carlsbad, revealed the following data:

  • When asked what they liked most about Carlsbad’s hotels, kids appreciate the well-appointed rooms (52%), followed by the food (32%) and the caring staff (16%)
  • Kids most love exploring Carlsbad’s beaches (62%), followed by outside sports (24%) and dining (14%)
  • 83% of the kids want to return to LEGOLAND on their next trip to the destination, while only 8% would prefer doing outdoor sports as their top activity
  • 71% of the kids interviewed said the ocean was their favorite water experience, followed by resort pools (16%) and the lagoons (13%)
  • 71% of kids voted for pizza as their favorite food in Carlsbad, followed by tacos (22%) and smoothies (7%)
  • 53% of all kids who had visited in summer said they would most like to come back during the winter holidays, followed by visits in spring (33%) and fall (14%)

Dual City Architects Sidney F. and Jack S. were awarded their titles after successfully creating their own versions of the city’s capital building in sand at the Carlsbad, Kidifornia Beach Party held at the Beach Terrace Inn on October 21, 2017. The Kid-Cabinet members are currently working hard enjoying the city’s attractions, including a day at Carlsbad Watersports and the SEA LIFE Aquarium.

In accepting his new post, Mini Mayor Anthony J. graciously agreed to offer the 14 other #MiniMayorCarlsbad competition participants a family-sized pizza at the Intergalactic Headquarters of the Pizza Port Empire in Carlsbad Village. “Our research shows kids are crazy about Carlsbad’s pizza and we thought this gift would be a great way to recognize their efforts in the search for the Mini Mayor” said Anthony. “It’s easy to share the love in Carlsbad!” he added.

Located just 25-minutes north of San Diego, Carlsbad is a quaint beach town that showcases an approachable elegance unique to the Southern California shoreline. Known as “The Village by the Sea,” Carlsbad offers the charm of a European town with the conveniences of a large city. The town’s dramatic beauty is complemented by a distinct variety of year-round signature events, as well as boundless ocean experiences along seven miles of golden coast, beautiful flower gardens, a range of accommodations, world-class shopping experiences, local breweries, golf, and unique destinations, such as LEGOLAND® California and SEA LIFE Aquarium. With a perfectly mild climate year-round, this Southern California treasure provides guests an ideal environment to explore the outdoors by day and relax each evening at one of the many beautiful resorts and comfortable hotels in Carlsbad. Visit the official website for complete destination information.

Guests visiting Carlsbad can browse the destination’s comprehensive listing of all hotels in the city on, including luxury resorts, vacation rentals, budget-friendly hotels and more.

 Credit: Visit Carlsbad.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Holiday Hearts – Beautiful Animation and Enjoyable Characters



Gather Around For Six Hearth-Warming Holiday Tales! Tis the season to celebrate with family and your very best friends. But you know that no holiday in Equestria is complete without a little adventure. Join Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Fluttershy as they embark on six exciting adventures sure to put you in the holiday spirit! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B. comments, “The animation of My Little Pony is fluid, unique and, best of all, colorful. The colors in My Little Pony are amazing. I love the different combinations of colors on all the different characters and how every pony has distinct color combinations.” Carla P. adds, “This DVD is a great way of putting you in the holiday mood.  I love these episodes because of the cute characters and the message in each episode.” See their full reviews below.


My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Holiday Hearts

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14



I really enjoyed watching the episodes on this DVD. A few are a little bit too young for my taste but I still had fun watching them.


This DVD is a collection of six episodes from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Most of the episodes aren’t connected and you might actually need to have knowledge of the show to understand what’s going on all of the time. That’s a bit of a problem since I don’t watch the show on TV. I originally thought this DVD could be a good introduction to new fans, but by the third episode, Twilight Sparkle had wings all of a sudden, her house was destroyed and she became a princess. None of this was explained and it left me very confused. So this DVD definitely feels like it’s for people who already have knowledge about the show.


Although I didn’t know everything that was happening, I still really appreciate My Little Pony for its great characters and animation. Let’s start with the animation. The animation of My Little Pony is fluid, unique and, best of all, colorful. The colors in My Little Pony are amazing. I love the different combinations of colors on all the different characters and how every pony has distinct color combinations. My favorite designs are probably Rainbow Dash’s and Twilight Sparkle’s. Now, characters development is always important and I think My Little Pony has some great characters. The main focus of the show is on six characters, or “The Mane 6”, as the fan base calls them. Each of them are equally fascinating and all are quite different from each other, which makes the show more enjoyable. Each of them is special. My favorite of The Mane 6 is Fluttershy. I found her really likeable and absolutely adorable. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to get enough screen time.


I have to say my favorite episode of this collection is A Hearth’s Warming Tail, which is a parody of A Christmas Carol. The episode excels in parodying the story, yet making it fit the My Little Pony Universe. However, what drives this episode for me are the songs. I love all five of the songs in this episode. I might even listen to them on my own time. I give this DVD 4 out 5 stars and recommend it for anyone ages 4 to 12. The DVD is available now and would make an excellent gift for a My Little Pony Fan!


My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Holiday Hearts

Reviewed by Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13



This DVD is a great way of putting you in the holiday mood.  I love these episodes because of the cute characters and the message in each episode.


This DVD is a collection of episodes from the show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It’s a compilation of the holiday-based episodes from the show that follows Twilight Sparkle and her friends from Ponyville (Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Fluttershy) as they explore Hearts Warming Eve.


The voice actors in these shows are quite extraordinary. I love how the voice actor for Twilight, Tara Strong, has such a matter of fact voice that matches Twilight’s character. I’m impressed by Ashleigh Ball’s voice acting as both Rainbow Dash and Applejack. She pulls off a great southern accent so that I actually believed she was Southern. All the voice actors portray exactly how I might imagine these characters would actually sound if they came to life.


I love how the animators pay attention to detail. Every character is quite unique. They don’t all look the same, even though they are the same type of pony. The main characters are also all different. Rarity and Twilight are both unicorns, but both are very different in the way they are imagined.  Rarity looks way more fashionable with her wavy hair, while Twilight looks a little bit more ordinary.


The message of this show is to be yourself. Each one of the characters has different interests and styles, but they still all get along. Their uniqueness plays a huge role in the storyline of the show.

I recommend this to ages 5 to 10 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. This DVD is available now so go check it out.


Sandy is Pet of the Week!

Sandy, Nov. 30 Pet of the Week

Sandy, a female German shepherd mix, was found tied up in a brush-covered area, skinny and thirsty. She cooperated beautifully with the animal control officer, and she’s had a lot of good meals, a cleanup and lots of love. But she also has entropion, an extremely painful condition in which the eyelids are rolled inward toward the eye. Surgery is needed to correct it. At only 5 years old and as sweet as she is, Sandy deserves better. Meet her on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A599950.

(The usual suspects—and some unusual—contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

New for the holidays, from Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could! Revvin’ Up the Reindeer


It will soon be that time of year again, as the days grow short and the nights warm up to candlelight, good food, family and cheer. The season of high hopes (and high anxiety) is also the time when music fills the air.


This year, three-time Grammy nominated and nationally touring Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could releases a fresh album of 13 cheery, all-original holiday songs, Revvin’ Up the Reindeer. Brady’s music echoes holiday classics with exuberant instrumentation and arrangements.


In their ninth album for families, Brady and his band reflect the festive jumble of the season, with caroling harmonies, brass and bells. Every track is inflected with the band’s rootsy, feel-good sound, recalling beloved seasonal standards yet with Brady’s distinctively fresh and engaging style.


The title track is a 50’s rock ‘n’ roll romp, imagining Santa with a souped-up sleigh; the ska-beat “Holiday Jam” is a humorous take on the many ways we cope during the busiest time of the year; lyrical accordion embellishes the Klezmer-inspired “Rainbow Candles;” the hopeful sing-a-long “Christmas Wishes” radiates  with a children’s choir “The Fa La Las;” and the band rings out the old and swings in the new in raucous, Dixieland jazz fashion with “Baby New Year.” Indeed, whispers of holiday standards weave cleverly throughout, conjuring up the magic of the holiday season.


“The holiday season is my favorite time of year. It’s like the whole world is singin’, shinin’ and sayin’ hi!” says Brady. “After miles of twinkly lights untangled, menorahs lit with love and more than a few eggnogs poured, we couldn‘t be more excited to share these songs. I hope they’ll find a place on your family’s holiday playlist for years to come!”
Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could will celebrate the album release with several all-ages concerts this fall, including the Music Center at Strathmore (Bethesda), the Sparta (NJ) Boardwalk, Growing Stage (NJ), and at libraries and schools. For details and updates, visit

New sing-along music videos are being released every Friday:
Credit: Sugar Mountain PR.

LA Zoo’s Reindeer Romp Features Live Reindeer, Holiday Crafts, Keeper Talks, Photo Ops

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The L.A. Zoo presents the only opportunity in Los Angeles to see a herd of live reindeer at its Reindeer Romp holiday celebration, which debuts Friday, November 17, 2017, and runs through Sunday, January 7, 2018 (except Christmas Day), 10 am to 4 pm. Guests are invited to make the most of the holiday season with a full day of fun and adventure at the Zoo, an especially beautiful and enriching place to spend quality time with kids and extended family during the holidays.

The season is highlighted by a rare chance to visit with reindeer in their charming “Reindeer Village” habitat also featuring fun reindeer facts and holiday photo ops daily. Weekend activities include make-your-own antler crafts, reindeer keeper talks at 11 am and 2 pm and a rotating schedule of animals unwrapping “gifts” of their own. Visits with Santa Claus in a whimsical North Pole setting (for a nominal fee) take place on weekend days, November 18 through December 17, 11 am to 3 pm, with a variety of photo packages available. For a great value, all Reindeer Romp activities, except Santa photos, are free with paid Zoo admission. Also included with paid Zoo admission are daily close-up “Animals & You” encounters, intriguing shows, talks and guided experiences, training demonstrations and more.

The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered, as well as a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Its responsibility toward wildlife conservation not only encompasses safeguarding the animals in its care but also actively participating in the preservation of some of the world’s most critically endangered species and their habitats. Its many conservation successes include having led the charge in saving California condors from extinction and restoring populations of these critically endangered animals to their native habitats. The Zoo’s lush grounds on 113 acres feature Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; and one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world. Among other highlights are an extraordinary, hands-on Hippo Encounter and face-to-face Giraffe Feedings; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo and Muriel’s Ranch animal contact area; the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; a variety of daily opportunities to learn more about animals, including close-up visits, special feedings and intriguing talks; and much more. The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children. As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.

Zoo admission, which includes all Reindeer Romp activities except Santa photos, is $21 for general admission (ages 13 to 61); $18 for seniors (ages 62+), and $16 for children (ages 2 to 12). No ticket is required for children under age two. Admission for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members is free.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways.  5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA  90027. Free parking is available.  For additional information, contact (323) 644-4200 or visit

Credit: The Los Angeles Zoo. Photo Credit: Jamie Pham.