Archives for 2021

More Summer Must-Haves

Summer isn’t over yet! Here are more of my summertime favorite products! I have recently started skating again and love the skates from  Xino Sports. Inline skates (otherwise known as rollerblades) became quite popular in the 90’s. Although I can’t do all the stunts and tricks, I find them a lot of fun! I love the quality of the skates and they will be a hit with both children and adults.

About Xino Sports
Committed to helping children stay active and go outdoors, Xino Sports offers a complete line of unbeatable products designed to accomplish each of these goals. Every item produced by Xino Sports doubles as a tool that will inspire a greater sense of imagination, creativity, and responsibility when placed into the hands of children eager to play in and learn about the world around them.
Raising children in the 21st century poses unique challenges and concerns parents have never encountered before. Xino Sports is here to encourage the return of traditional family values, to make unforgettable memories, and to deepen familial and community bonds with quality outdoor and athletic toys and equipment.
For more information, visit https://xinosports.com/ or call at 844-668-5572.

Looking to have an end-of-summer party? Zak Designs has some great options to choose from.

The 2021 Summer Prints collection includes the Pink Tropics and Flamingo patterns, which both bring a taste of exotic summer style to tables in a unique way. The Pink Tropics pattern brings together tropical leaves and exotic birds to create a distinctive island feel while the Flamingo set features the most iconic of birds in a colorful and whimsical way.

Both the Summer Print 12pc. dinnerware sets include dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls for a complete place setting for four. And because all the pieces are made from durable melamine, they’re ideal for the pool, patio, or wherever the summer fun takes you. More information is available at www.zak.com.

I love this next product because it really brings back memories for me of the days when I was a teenager. My first car was a VW bug and I have had a couple more since then. PLAYMOBIL debuted a brand new line with VOLKSWAGEN this past Spring. The PLAYMOBIL Volkswagen Beetle is an absolutely perfect recreation of the iconic 1960 classic, featuring a rear engine and roof rack complete with surfboard! Even the classic PLAYMOBIL figures fit the vibe!

The new PLAYMOBIL Volkswagen T1 Camping Bus perfectly delivers that carefree “California feeling,” ready for adventure and complete with a roof rack and fully equipped with seating and sleeping areas, travel kitchen, and plenty of storage. They are both sure to be a hit this Summer!

I noticed that during the pandemic and continuing this summer…Bike riding is big! I wanted to share a cute photo of my bike and me wearing the cute Rose Gold bike helmet below but ordering a bike online has turned into quite an ordeal and my bike is not yet ready to ride. But, I love these helmets.

Thousand – the woman-led, safe and sustainable brand known for it’s vintage-inspired aesthetics – is launching it’s 3rd helmet, this one for young riders right in time for spring and summer cycling. 
The Thousand Jr. Collection includes a kid-size of its popular Heritage adult helmet in four distinctive colorways, corresponding bicycle bells and a variety of sticker packs to let kids express their unique style and point of view.

Understanding inclusivity, a growing awareness of social issues and a strong focus on identity expression in the 5-11 age group was central to crafting the Thousand Jr. collection. After interviewing more than 100 kids, Thousand determined design elements such as colorways, finishings and themes of sticker packs based on the feedback of self-identified girls, boys and gender nonbinary participants in the focus groups. There is even a sticker pack dedicated to young activists.

Find out more at https://www.explorethousand.com/

Photo Credit: SoCal City Kids

Summer vacation is a great time to do puzzles!  I just love these three puzzles from beloved author and illustrator, Sandra Boynton! She is a favorite of mine so I was excited to receive the puzzles. I really like the Hippo Birdie Two Ewe 300-Piece Birthday Puzzle. I think that is actually my favorite of the three. (On-sale since July 6th, 2021; $19.95), the famed Boynton birthday card (with over 10 million copies sold, so far!) is now in puzzle form. Start a new family tradition by presenting it on every birthday, and when all the pieces are in place, everyone can heartily sing: Hippo Birdie Two Ewe, Hippo Birdie Two Ewe! It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Hidden Cows 1,000-Piece Puzzle (On-sale since July 6th, 2021; $19.95) is the ultimate game of hide-and-seek. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary evening at home, in the simple and tasteful living room of an ordinary pig family—mother, father, daughter, toddler, twin chickens. But look closely. As you carefully assemble the 1,000 pieces, you may begin to notice some surprising visitors: HIDDEN COWS. There are at least three of them. It’s definitely subtle, though.

Filled with the signature humor of Sandra Boynton, Puzzle Complaints 500-Piece Puzzle (On-sale since July 6th, 2021; $19.95)is a puzzle like no other. Containing all the typical (and not so typical) puzzle flaws: upside down lettering, suddenly changing fonts, a seemingly misplaced piece from another puzzle, inexplicably shouting chickens—the works—Puzzle Complaints is sure to inspire frustration and bursts of laughter! Find out more here.

About Sandra Boynton

Sandra Boynton is a beloved American cartoonist, children’s author, songwriter, and highly sporadic short film director. Starting with the 1977 publication of Hippos Go Berserk!, Boynton has written and illustrated over sixty children’s books and eight general audience books, including five New York Times bestsellers. Her renowned books include Barnyard Dance!, Snuggle Puppy!, Belly Button Book!, EEK! Halloween!, But Not the Hippopotamus, and The Going to Bed Book. More than 70 million of her books have been sold—“mostly to friends and family,” she says. Boynton has also written and produced six albums of unconventional children’s music, which include performances by Brian Wilson, Brad Paisley, Kevin Kline, Kacey Musgraves, Blues Traveler, Alison Krauss, Meryl Streep, Spin Doctors, Davy Jones, Dwight Yoakam, Patti LuPone, Neil Sedaka, and “Weird Al” Yankovic in a duet with Kate Winslet. Three of Boynton’s albums have been certified Gold (over 500,000 copies sold), and Philadelphia Chickens, nominated for a Grammy, has gone Platinum (over one million copies sold). Boynton has also written and directed eleven short musical films, including “One Shoe Blues,” starring B. B. King; and two animated shorts: “When Pigs Fly,” sung by Ryan Adams, and “Tyrannosaurus Funk,” sung by Samuel L. Jackson, which won the 2018 Grand Prize for Best Children’s Animation Short from the Rhode Island International Film Festival. In 2008, Boynton received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cartoonists Society.

Boynton has four perfect children, and an equally perfect granddaughter and grandson. She and her husband Jamie McEwan, a writer and whitewater expeditionist, raised their family on a very old New England farm (it’s now a non-working farm, except for the hyperactive cartoon chickens and disaffected imaginary cows and such). Her studio there is in a converted barn that has perhaps the only hippopotamus weathervane in America.

I love these next products because they are perfect for summer break. Children can play and also learn at the same time. Kids can continue to learn throughout the summer and into the school year with fun products that offer educational value such as Magformers. Magformers are the industry leader in magnetic building toys for children. They believe it is vital for children to develop through creativity and their patented, ‘always attracting’ magnetic technology delivers a unique constructional play experience. Magformers has a commitment to providing a high quality, reliable product that inspires the creators of the future. All while promoting screen-free play and all of their products are STEM.org approved.

Magformers Camping Adventure Set

Magformers Camping adventure toy set allows your little builder to immerse themselves in the excitement of a summer camping experience. Use Magformers squares and triangles to build campfires and tents. Add Mason & Mutt to your scenes and create your own stories! Ages: 3+ MSRP: $39.99. 

Tileblox Rainbow 14Pc Set

Tileblox Rainbow 14Pc set is great for builders looking to begin learning to build and create. Use 6 different colored triangles and 8 squares to create your own small house or cube. A perfect introduction to TileBlox and a great addition to your collection. Each geometric shape contains magnets that let you build with endless possibilities! TileBlox is perfect for STEM education and when playtime is over, use the magnetic power to simply stack and store. Ages 3+. MSRP: $14.99.

Happy August!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above items. Most images were also provided.

4 Things to Consider when Buying Golf Equipment

Buying golf equipment is very important as it will have a direct impact on how well you play and whether you’ll actually enjoy the game. It’s also a very serious investment. This is why you need to take your time when getting equipment and do some research as well. You also have to assess your budget and determine what type of player you are. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should be looking for when buying golf equipment.

Your Goals and Objectives

The very first thing you should consider when choosing equipment is what your personal goals are. There is no point in you buying top-of-the-line fitted clubs if you don’t know how much you’re going to play yet. You also have to look at what stage you are in your development. You might think that buying pro clubs will automatically be better, but that’s not always the case. So, look at all of these factors, and don’t go all out at the beginning.

Size and Appearance

One factor that is often overlooked for hitting shots is the confidence you’ll need to make them. And, in many cases, it starts with the club. If you look down at a club and you don’t have confidence that you’ll be hitting a shot, chances are you won’t. You have game improvement clubs that have a slightly bigger head than others. These might be perfect if you’re growing into your game and could give you a boost of confidence. Some may think that they’re too bulky, however, and may want a smaller, “player” type of club. It’s all up to you and how confident you feel.

Durability and Maintenance

You should not only look at the price when buying a piece of equipment. You have to see how much maintenance it will require and how reliable it will be. This is especially important if you’re going to buy something like a golf cart, for instance. This is a big purchase, so you need to look at the best brands and models on the market in terms of reliability. It would also be wise to start looking for suppliers that sell replacement parts. You have services like Golf Cart Tire Supply where you can find replacement parts for Club Car, EZ-GO, Yamaha and more. You should look at the warranty and consider looking at used models as well.

Shaft

Some people may think that the most important part of a golf club is the head, but the shaft is equally important, if not more. Choose the wrong shaft and you will never be able to elevate your game. It could also make you very uncomfortable and even lead to injuries. Some people will assume that flex is the only thing that truly matters, but there are many other things to consider. Weight will make a huge difference as well. In general, a heavier shaft will translate to shorter distances while a lighter shaft will increase head speed. Bend and kick points will also affect the length and trajectory of the ball flight.

You can decide to go for a stock shaft or have it fitted. Don’t assume that you absolutely have to go for the latter, however, as many golfers do just fine with a stock shaft. But you should see a professional so they can evaluate your swing as things like swing speed will affect which shaft would be better for you.

These are some of the many things that you should look at when buying golf equipment. This will ensure that you get something that will fit your level of play and support your progress.

Summer, July 29th Pet of the Week!

Summer is the season for big smiles, lying in the sun, and showing your legs—could be why our very own Summer is so named! She’s all legs, in fact, and that smile will brighten your day at least as much as the sun does. Summer is a young girl, 75 pounds and suspected to be a Lab mix. She’s a little reserved at first, but once she warms up, she’s fun during any season! Our shelter’s adoptions are conducted through appointment only, so call 562-570-PETS or email PetAdopt@longbeach.gov to meet Summer. Ask for ID#A659446.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

7 Compelling Reasons to Adopt SEO to Your Brisbane Business Now

Brisbane may be the best place on the planet to do business. The city is the closest capital on the eastern seaboard of Australia, which has access to the three main export markets of China, Japan, and South Korea. Also, the airport of Brisbane can be accessed in less than 20 minutes from the city centre. The city is one of the largest and most progressive in Australia. Its main industries include finance, education, retail as well as transport, and they account for more than half of the entire employment in Brisbane.

Many business owners probably know the importance of having an optimised digital presence. The advantages of hiring one of the SEO companies in Brisbane are endless since when you apply SEO to your site, it can dramatically improve the success of your brand in the marketplace.

You have probably explored the fundamentals of SEO and how it functions. But while doing so, you probably discovered that applying it to your digital marketing strategy is complicated and time-consuming. Moreover, optimising your content is a tedious process, and it may take months to produce results. You might even start to doubt if SEO is indeed worth it in the end. But rest assured that it is.

Cost of Implementing SEO in Brisbane

SEO services typically cost about $700-$2000 per month in Brisbane. Besides that, hourly SEO rates can range from $105-$250. Moreover, the higher the competition, the more top dollar you need to pay for your SEO.

Here are some reasons why your business should employ SEO strategies:

1. SEO Enhances the User Experience

There are many ways that you can use to improve your website and user experience. It includes providing your audience with meaningful information, relevant photos, and videos to support your content. Also, web pages must be easy to navigate and mobile-friendly.

An optimised user experience results in click-through rates, more leads, brand recognition, and higher conversion rates. Visitors of your website, as well as search engine algorithms, value a good user experience. Hence, delivering this aspect will improve your rankings and motivate people to stay longer on your pages.

2. SEO Is a Top Source of Leads

Inbound strategies are the most efficient and successful way to attract leads. Inbound includes optimisation for search engines, social media, content marketing, referrals, and many others. But if you are not generating enough new leads from your current SEO strategy, you should make revisions to your approach and make sure you target the right demographic. You might also want to check your competitors. Perhaps another player in the market has optimised their content and is getting a considerable share of the pie.

3. SEO Results in Better Close Rates

According to data, an average of 14.6% close rates are achieved via SEO leads. This is in contrast to 1.7% from outbound strategies. Connecting the customers via outbound or cold leads will often result in a lower conversion rate. In these cases, the interaction is unwanted.

SEO leads are consumers who have done online research. They have specific requirements and purposes in mind as they check out your product or service. Thus, they transition into MQL  (marketing qualified leads) or even SQL (sales qualified leads), and you have better chances of higher conversion rates with them.

4. Improve Your Conversion Rates With SEO

An optimised ranking of your site on any search engine can dramatically improve your conversion rates. And if you can maintain your lead position, your target audience will soon become more cognizant of your brand and the premium quality of your work. It will increase your trustworthiness and your reputation in the industry.

Since you have built brand awareness among your customers, their knowledge of your products and services will increase. This way, there is a better possibility for customers to close a deal with your business.

5. Better Cost Management

It is just one of the advantages of SEO for your business. Utilising the right rank tracking tool can help enhance your rankings and organic traffic leads to your website. When you track your position, you are assured that you are always dominating the SERPs, and your audience can effortlessly find your content on the first page itself.

6. SEO Encourages Visits to Your Physical Store

Local SEO is especially advantageous for small businesses and companies that have a physical store. These businesses are not limited to a digital presence. It is a well-known fact that, after embarking on local research, there is a higher probability for customers to check out the brick-and-mortar location of a business. A Google statistic revealed that nearly 76% of people who perform a “near me” search visited the physical store within 24 hours. Moreover, almost 28% of them made a purchase.

For example, if a user searches for the best buffet in Las Vegas, it will show several options. And the person who conducted the search will most likely visit one of the top choices and subsequently become a customer of that restaurant.

7. SEO Builds Your Brand Reputation

Being a top ranker or ranking near the top on the search engine results page may give your customers the impression that you are one of the main players in the industry. In addition to that, another advantage of SEO is that it suggests you are offering a more premium experience compared to your competition.

But if you fall way below the search engine results, people may not even find you are if they do, they may get the impression that you do not have sufficient credibility or expertise. It may lead some customers to choose someone with a more substantial online presence and better reputation.

In addition to that, the main benefits you get by hiring one of the SEO companies in Brisbane are:

  • Affordable Advertising

When you are already on top of the rankings, there is no need for you to invest in paid advertising such as PPC. You will continue to dominate your market as long as audiences click your search links.

  • Cost-Effective Marketing Activities

Marketing tasks related to generating inbound leads will include social media blogging, referrals, and many others. These require little or no cost at all. On the other hand, outbound lead generation will include cold calls, client visits, and direct selling, and it can be pretty expensive.

The Top 8 Social Media Platforms For Influencers In 2021

Social media is an incredibly difficult world to master. While the basics are pretty easy to grasp – post content, get engagement and likes, continue to post content – the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of each platform make it hard for influencers to create consistently engaging content and maintain their profiles.

It doesn’t help that the social media platform that’s most popular at any given time is routinely changing. Where Facebook once ruled the roost, now Instagram and TikTok are dominating, although it’s also true that Facebook hasn’t lost any of its clout in terms of numbers.

If you’re going to be a social media influencer in 2021, then it’s important you know which platforms are useful to have a presence on and which ones can safely be ignored. Here, in a tribute to fallen hero MySpace, are the top 8 social media platforms all influencers should be on in 2021.

1. TikTok

No social media platform list would be complete without ByteDance’s phenomenally popular video sharing app. TikTok is a sensation; it asks its users to create short videos and share them with the community, with these videos ranging anywhere from 15 seconds to 1 minute in length.

TikTok is notoriously brutal for amassing followers, with stiff competition and a punishing algorithm that might not prioritise your video. That’s why many turn to sites like TikFreeFollowers to boost their follower count on this platform. If you’re starting out on TikTok, try it – you won’t regret it!

2. Instagram

Instagram is set to maintain its position as one of the most popular and widely-used social media apps out there in the rest of 2021. If you’re an influencer and you don’t have Instagram, you need to download it ASAP; even if you’re not much of an image creation enthusiast, Instagram will convert you.

Of course, Instagram (or Insta) isn’t just about images. You can also post text content, although you will need to convert it into image format before you post. Users can comment, like your content, and incorporate it into Stories, short video narratives that disappear after a certain amount of time.

3. Twitter

Despite its somewhat negative reputation as a battleground for arguments and debates, Twitter is still well-known as a place for fans and followers to get updates about their favourite celebrities, content creators, and industry professionals. It’s also a great proving ground for comedians and influencers.

Tweets on Twitter can be up to 280 characters in length, a limit that was extended back in 2018. Despite this, most users still elect to keep their tweets on the short side, proof that the platform’s original idea of microblogging is intact in 2021. If you often find yourself thinking little random thoughts, Twitter is the place to post them.

4. Facebook

Many think of Facebook as the progenitor of modern social media. This is true to a certain extent, although it was prefaced by other platforms like MySpace and Friendster. Still, Facebook was the first one to take off in a big way and cross over to traditionally technophobic demographics, and it still reigns supreme today.

Estimates suggest that there are currently around 2.85 billion active Facebook users each month. While younger people seem to be moving away from Facebook in favour of platforms like TikTok, Facebook is still incredibly popular with every other demographic, so it’s important if you’re an influencer.

5. YouTube

Some people might not count YouTube as a social media platform, but it has incredible sway over the way people interact with one another, so we’re counting it. YouTube is a video sharing platform that goes way back to 2005, and it’s still the primary way in which we consume video content on the internet today.

There’s been a lot of discussion surrounding the YouTube algorithm and how it may or may not prioritise certain types of content or creators. If you’re a YouTube influencer in 2021, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the algorithm and its idiosyncrasies if you want to achieve success on the platform.

6. Reddit

Reddit is essentially what happened to the internet forums many used to frequent back in the 1990s and 2000s. It’s an amalgamation of every different kind of forum, allowing users to converse about everything from politics to motorsport on a unified platform with a unified account.

It’s important to be on Reddit as an influencer because it’s a more discussion-focused platform than the immediate likes-and-followers-style alternatives of Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. Reddit is all about engagement, so if you want feedback on your content or your brand in general, you should go to Reddit for it.

7. LinkedIn

Ah, LinkedIn. It may be the butt of several jokes online, but the fact is that LinkedIn is still an incredibly important social network. It’s not necessarily important for everyone, but even as an influencer, you can advertise your brand and your availability via LinkedIn to scout for work opportunities.

Of course, LinkedIn demands a higher level of professionalism than its more casual counterparts. You’ll need to present yourself at your best and your most businesslike; be calm and cool, but don’t be informal. Make sure everyone can see your most professional side on LinkedIn.

8. Pinterest

Finally, we have Pinterest, the network that’s still somewhat misunderstood by many. At its core, Pinterest is effectively a mood board platform; it allows you to collect images, scraps of text, and other things to create a general “vibe” that other users can look at and draw inspiration from.

To be an influencer on Pinterest, you have to have impeccable taste, of course. Obviously, Pinterest influencers are known as Pinfluencers (yes, really), so it’s important to have that knowledge under your belt as well. You should also make sure your bio and your boards are on point. 

It’s time for the Summer Baby Roundup!

I absolutely love the Lulla Owl! This one is just perfect for newborn babies.

The Lulla Owl is a soother and sleep companion for the smallest babies and also great on the go. It’s also adorable!

Lulla Owl is inspired by scientific research and based on the design of the Lulla doll, which is multi-awarded and loved by parents and children all over the world. 

It imitates closeness to a caregiver with its soft feel and 24-hour soothing sounds of real-life breathing and heartbeat, offering continuous comfort and support.

Soft, small, and lightweight, the Lulla Owl has no plush filling, making it an even safer option for hospitals and the most sensitive babies. 

The Lulla Owl has a Velcro strap that can be safely attached to a crib, bed or stroller. 

Machine washable – Comes with 2 AA batteries. You can buy it at https://lulladoll.com/

Check out their social media at the following:

Lulla doll by RoRo – Home | Facebook

https://www.instagram.com/lulla_doll/

Evenflo Feeding Balance + Bottle

The  Evenflo Feeding Balance + Bottle would make a great gift for new Moms this summer! Developed with Pediatric Feeding Specialists, the Evenflo Feeding Balance + Wide Bottle is designed to support healthy bottle feeding without interfering with your breastfeeding journey. The unique, naturally-sloped nipple promotes a healthy wide latch for your baby by providing a proper resting place for their lips, helping to decrease mouth fatigue. The effective 1-piece integrated vent helps prevent colic, gas, and fussiness with no extra parts to clean or lose. The included Slow Flow Nipple has an intentional, slower flow rate and helps prevent chugging, allowing for a calm, gulp-free feeding at baby’s pace. The Balance + Wide Bottle has molded measurement markers in both ounces and milliliters to provide an easy and accurate way to measure the volume of liquid. All Evenflo bottles and nipples are 100% free of BPA, polycarbonates, PVC and phthalates, and are also made of FDA-approved food grade material.  Visit www.Evenflofeeding.com for more info.

Check out this video for more info:

You can also find out more on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EvenfloFeeding and on Instagram.

Looking for shoes for a baby? These are too cute!

Photo credit @lindseyleeandco

My favorite this season is the Originals Flower Power Orchid. They are soo cute!

About pediped®
pediped® Footwear was founded in 2005 by Angela and Brian Edgeworth in their quest for the perfect soft-soled shoe for their first daughter. Exceptional quality, unsurpassed comfort and distinctive styling have made the award winning company the fastest-growing children’s footwear brand in the United States. pediped® Footwear has been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for the promotion of healthy foot development. 

pediped® footwear is sold in over 200 stores in the United States and worldwide with an offering of more than 120 designs for boys and girls between their three lines, Originals®, Grip ‘n’ Go™ and Flex®.

Originals® (soft-soled shoes for newborns to 24 months)

Grip ‘n’ Go™ (thin rubber-soled shoes for children ages 9 months to 3 years)

Flex® (rubber-soled shoes for children 3 to 9+ years) are available in EU sizes ranging from 20 to 36.

For more information visit www.pediped.com

This next one would also make a great gift! The goSili 8 oz. straw cup is perfect for little ones that are starting to use cups. I love that this is non-toxic and eco-friendly!

The GoSili Reusable Silicone Straw Cup comes with a universal silicone straw lid that stretches over the rim of the cup creating an airtight fit (making it virtually spill proof!). The universal straw lid can also be used with almost any cup or glass, making it a straw cup in a matter of seconds – bonus!

GoSili reusable cups are 100% European grade platinum silicone and feature an embedded stainless-steel ring that prevents the cup from collapsing when gripped. Perfect for small hands, and big squeezes! GoSili cups are incredibly durable, can grow with your child, and are meant to last a lifetime…which is kind of the point! It’s an easy, sustainable solution to kicking the single-use cup habit whether at home or on-the go. All components of the GoSili cup are dishwasher and microwave safe and can be boiled to sterilize.

On behalf of our planet, thank you for making the choice to waste less, and GoSili.

For more information visit www.gosili.com


Recommended retail: $10

Follow goSili:

https://www.instagram.com/gosiliproducts/

https://www.facebook.com/gosiliproducts/

Summer with baby in tow has never looked so sweet! KeaBabies, has debuted the most adorable Limited Edition Collection for summer! They’ve taken parents’ favorites, including the All-in-1 Multi-Use Cover, Organic Bandana Bibs and Organic Burp Cloths and added delightfully delicious prints such as macarons, donuts, pretzels, churros, and more! Parents can keep their little ones comfortable, dry and stylish this summer in this drool-worthy new collection. These are just precious and would make a great baby shower gift this summer! You can find out more at https://keababies.com/

Looking for the perfect Backpack Diaper Bag? The KeaBabies Explorer Diaper Backpack is sure to be a hit with Mom and Dad! The Explorer Diaper Bag is unisex and that makes it the best choice for moms and dads to use the bag when going outdoors with your baby or toddler.  Never go out of style with our KeaBabies Explorer Diaper Bag Backpack. Specially-designed with functionality and style for all parents to enjoy parenthood without the frustrations of digging around inside your diaper bag.  At KeaBabies, we understand that taking your baby out can be a hassle sometimes with so much packing the baby’s things into one bag. Our KeaBabies Diaper Bag is thoughtfully designed with multiple pockets and compartments to help you organize all of your baby’s necessities for a day out. Every part of our Diaper Bags come with practical uses to store all your items and your baby’s items perfectly without having to look for the item when there’s any urgent need.

You can find it at https://keababies.com/

Nature’s Baby, manufacturer of hypoallergenic, green, gluten-free, and cruelty-free baby products, has taken their eco-friendly commitment one step further with the release of aluminum packaging options for seven of their best-selling products.

Nature’s Baby has made the switch to aluminum packaging for three of their most popular shampoos, three conditioners, and one baby lotion, including the eight-ounce versions of their Vanilla Tangerine, Coconut Pineapple, and Lavender Chamomile Shampoo & Body Wash and Conditioner & Detangler as well as their eight-ounce Face & Body Moisturizer.

These products are sure to be a hit with parents! You can find out more at https://naturesbaby.com/

Self Disclosure: I received samples of the above items to facilitate this special feature post. Images were also provided.

A Cinderella Story: Starstruck * A Uniquely Humorous Family Film With Great Characters And Even Better Actors

Finley Tremaine, a small town farm girl, longs to spread her wings and soar as an aspiring performer. When a Hollywood film crew arrives in her sleepy town, she is determined to land a role in the production and captures the attention of handsome lead actor, Jackson Stone. Unfortunately, a botched audition forces her to change course. Now, disguised as cowboy “Huck,” Finley finally gets her big break. But can she keep the charade a secret from everyone, including her evil stepmother and devious step-siblings? KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “Do you love Cinderella stories? Are you looking for a brand new, humorous and unique family film that has excellent characters and even better actors? You need to watch A Cinderella Story: Starstruck. It’s one of my favorites of 2021 so far, and it’s suitable for nearly any audience!”

A Cinderella Story: Starstruck

By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Do you love Cinderella stories? Are you looking for a brand new, humorous and unique family film that has excellent characters and even better actors? You need to watch A Cinderella Story: Starstruck. It’s one of my favorites of 2021 so far, and it’s suitable for nearly any audience!

Finley Tremaine (Bailee Madison) is not your average Cinderella and neither is this story. Finley aspires to be a Hollywood star, so when a new action film comes to town, bringing famous actor Jackson Stone (Michael Evans Behling) along with it, she becomes focused on the audition stage. The film spirals into drama as Finley faces a constant inner conflict and tries to be more than one person. Will she keep her secret? The fear of discovery is constant, and she soon realizes that honesty could truly be the best policy, especially when it comes to her dream.

A Cinderella Story: Starstruck checks every box. The cinematography is better than most of what I’ve seen. The lighting and perspective make the images natural, and they use tons of creative angles. The cinematographers seem to have lots of tricks up their sleeves to make this film look amazing. Settings are chosen with precision; though some do seem a bit extraordinary for a normal town and farm land. However, we constantly see colorful views that leave me in awe. The film is a Cinderella story, but it isn’t easily predicted like most new versions are. It’s probably the most innovative princess story I’ve ever seen. The resemblances to the original Cinderella are hard to find, but are there nonetheless. Instead of mice, Finley’s support friends are the farm animals. There’s a unique addition behind every twist and turn of the plot. One of the best touches that I like is including a stepbrother, Kale (Richard Harmon), along with the traditional stepsister, Saffron (Lillian Doucet- Roche). These two siblings argue a lot; another different aspect between this version and the original. The stepmother, Valerian (April Telek), is as unbearable as always, though she’s still a great character. Lastly, the acting is truly magnificent. It doesn’t feel like acting. The actors seem to have real bonding, which is special. Richard Harmon as Kale, Bailee Madison as Finley and Michael Evans Behling as Jackson give some of the best performances. Kale is a difficult character to play, as there aren’t really similar characters in other Cinderella stories. Richard Harmon pulls off the role with astounding ability, setting a great example for any future step brothers.

The message of A Cinderella Story: Starstruck is to follow your dream. Parents should be aware that there is some mild language and action.

I give A Cinderella Story: Starstruck 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. It releases on digitally June 29, 2021 and on DVD July 12, 2021, so don’t miss it!

A Fun-Filled Musical Comedy Perfect For Theatre Kids And Musical Lovers!

A couple, Melissa and Josh, go on a backpacking trip in an attempt to patch up their failing relationship, only to find themselves still arguing. They then discover a magical town called Schmigadoon, which is perpetually trapped in a Golden Age-style musical, and slowly realize that they cannot leave until they find true love. The title and concept is a parody of the 1947 Broadway musical Brigadoon. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katie F. comments, “Schmigadoon! is a fun-filled musical comedy perfect for theatre kids and musical lovers! The cast of this new series has some famous faces like: Keegan-Michael Key, Dove Cameron, Kristen Chenoworth and many more!” See her full review below.

Schmigadoon!

By Katie F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, age 12

Schmigadoon! is a fun-filled musical comedy perfect for theatre kids and musical lovers! The cast of this new series has some famous faces like: Keegan-Michael Key, Dove Cameron, Kristen Chenoworth and many more! 

On a bonding trip, lovers Josh and Melissa accidentally find themselves in the 1940’s musical town of Schmigadoon. Josh and Melissa see everyone bursting into song and dance and soon discover that they can’t go home until they find true love. Do they have it? Will they find it? Watch Schmigadoon! to find out!

The cast of Schmigadoon! stands out and so do the sets  Josh Skinner (Keegan-Michael Key) is not excited about this musical town and tries everything he can to get away from all the singing and dancing. Josh experiences many emotional highs and lows: engagement, break-ups and drama. Melissa (Cecily Strong) is the one who decides on the bonding trip which leads them to Schmigadoon!  She does enjoy the musical town and, eventually, joins in on the fun.

The scary Mrs. Mildred Layton (Kristen Chenoworth), wife of Reverend Layton, is the leader of the “Mothers of the Future” organization and isn’t very fond of Josh and Melissa’s arrival. As well as Josh, Mildred is also trying everything she can to get them to leave, as she thinks they are ruining “her” town. Betsy (Dove Cameron) is a young waitress who takes a quick interest in Dr. Skinner and tries to be his true love.  Enchanting and wise school teacher Emma Tate (Arianna DeBose) doesn’t care much for love and focuses on teaching the children, but all that changes when she meets Josh. 

The set replicates a genuine theatre stage set, creating a definitive boundary between the real world and Schmigadoon!’s stage set—I love that. The music is all taken from mid-1900s musicals, but the words have been changed. You’ll spend all day singing the tunes in your head, trying to figure out what the original songs are. I love the contrast in costumes from Josh and Melissa’s modern day clothes to the town’s 1940’s outfits. 

While there is more than one message to the story, the main one is that when hope looks lost don’t give up (and maybe add a bit of song and dance).

I give Schmigadoon! 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults, but strongly recommend this for theatre kids. This series does contain strong language and some slightly inappropriate scenes. You can find Schmigadoon! starting July 16, 2021 on Apple TV. I’m looking forward to a season 2 already!