April 17, 2015

The Beginning of Blurb

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Like many great companies before it, Blurb was actually started by accident. In the early 2000s, Eileen Gittins, Blurbs' Founder, rekindled a passion for photography while trying to figure out her next career gig.

She wanted to compile her photos into a nice coffee table photo book, but she only wanted to print a handful of copies. The conundrum was that every publisher was quoting her hundreds of dollars for each book! She found this curious – and frustrating. So she asked herself, are there other people like me who want to affordably create their own high-quality book from their photos? The answer, of course, was yes, and it changed her life – and book publishing – forever.

In 2006, Eileen launched Blurb, a simple book-designing platform and a publishing process that could quickly produce beautifully made books at game-changing price.



Everyone from award-winning photographers, to couples wanting to commemorate the birth of their child started using Blurb – and they continue to do so today. Even after almost a decade, people are still blown away by Blurb’s user-friendliness, quality, and affordability. People trust Blurb to create every kind of book imaginable, including:

Blurb doesn’t just help people make books and magazines, they also help market them by providing publishers with their own dedicated sales page. Blurb’s dedicated sales pages allows authors to:
  • Make their book or magazine available to the public or by invitation-only
  • Write a compelling book description
  • Customize a preview of their book
  • Share their book with others on social media
Blurb also created their publishing platform to work seamlessly with Amazon and Apple iBooks Store so authors would have even more options for how they sell their books.

There are so many remarkable things to share about Blurb – too much for just one post! So keep an eye out for next week’s post because I’ll be sharing some of my favorite Blurb tools and tips -- which, if you’re like me, will leave you thinking … “I didn’t know Blurb could do all that!”

Now through 4/28 you can get 20% off any book you create! Can’t wait to see what kind of book you create! Click here to get started!

April 13, 2015

Celsius Flo Fusion Pre-Workout Energy Drink Review

Comes in two flavors:  Orange and Berry



The Day Before Day 1:  I was so excited to receive Celsius Flo Fusion pre-workout formula in the mail!  I couldn't wait to try the energy drink that would help boost my metabolism with its combination of Green Tea with EGCG, Ginger, Calcium, Chromium, B vitamins, and vitamin C.  I could do this!  I am going to work out every day!  

The last two months of 2014 had me overindulging and at the end of the first quarter of the year, I was still trying to get back to my pre-holiday weight.  

Day 1 (almost quitting time):  I am SO tired.  I am going to pick up dinner and take a nap when I get home.
 
As you can see, I have little discipline when it comes to exercise.  It's always on my list of things to do, but with two kids and a full time job...and a serious obsession with baking and good eats...it's low on the priority list.  But I've always been curious about energy drinks and thought this would be a good time to try one.  My weight loss from the last 3 months had pretty much plateaued and I hoped that the energy drink would give me the boost I needed or at least the energy to keep exercising instead of passing out during bedtime stories with the kids.

After a quick nap, I had my first serving of Flo Fusion.  I mixed the berry flavor into about 12 ounces of iced water.  The smell reminded me of Kool-Aid.  While it didn't taste as sweet as Kool-Aid, it was refreshing and a little bubbly.  I tried drinking it all before my workout, but found what worked better for me was to drink the last half during my workout.  I definitely felt I had more energy and it took me through a longer workout.  I also had the energy (without the feelings of being tired) to prepare dinner, clean, and do the laundry.  I didn't feel any side effects and I didn't have a difficult time falling asleep.  I took the serving at the recommended minimum of 5 hours before bedtime.

Day 2

I have zero intention of working out, but I better take a serving to show some effort.  In any case, Flo Fusion has 100% of the daily serving of several vitamins and minerals.  

Turns out Flo Fusion gave me enough energy for a yoga session after the kids went to bed.  I liked that I had enough energy to enjoy my evening with some exercise and then unwind with some Tsum Tsum game time.  I'm usually nodding off way before any of that happens.

Day 3

My friends and I had the brilliant idea to squeeze in a hike to Lanikai in Kaiula before our children's weekend sports activities so we had to leave Mililani before sunrise.  I made sure to take with me my serving of Flo Fusion because I knew it would keep me alert on my long drive and not upset my stomach like coffee sometimes does.


Based on my experiences, I really liked using Flo Fusion.  I feel confident that when I have a serving before my workout, it will give me the energy to complete it.  Lack of motivation and energy are my usual workout thwarters so now that I have the energy, it's been easier to stay motivated to exercise.  Flo Fusion is a product that I will continue to use to help me with my fitness goals.

Complimentary product received for review purposes.  All opinions are entirely my own.
 




April 8, 2015

Branch Basics - The Power of Pure

There are thousands of cleaning products on the market. Some are the oldies and full of chemicals but highly effective and toxic, some are "green" and high priced.  I've tried many, and my chief complaint for all of them is the smell.  Even the "green" cleaners that are supposedly "all natural", have a smell to them that makes me think "this has to be toxic!"

Not only does the smell of these cleaners bother me, but it also bothers me that there is a different product for different tasks.  There is a glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, toilet cleaner, dish cleaner, etc.  You know what I mean, and I'll bet you have a nice collection of various cleaners underneath your kitchen sink like I do.

Thanks to Branch Basics, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on various cleaning products that clutter your cabinets and are toxic to your senses and kids.  All you need is one bottle of THE CONCENTRATE, BPA-free Branch Basics spray bottles, and water. 




The secret is Branch Basics' premium quality, all natural soap which is called The Concentrate.  It is made with water, coconut oil, minerals and enzymes from edible and seed-bearing plants, and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda!).  Best of all, it's fragrance free!


The Concentrate


One 12 ounce bottle of Concentrate makes 112 cleaning bottles.  Can you believe that?



Why are there different spray bottles and only one bottle of Concentrate?  I was very puzzled by this when my spray bottles and Concentrate arrived in the mail. After reading the labels on each of the spray bottles, I discovered that they all used just one single product - The Concentrate.  The only difference is how much water you use to dilute the Concentrate.

Bathroom Cleaner on the left, All-Purpose Cleaner on the Right. The Bathroom cleaner utilizes more Concentrate and less water than the All-Purpose Cleaner.
Here's how it works.  Let's make Bathroom cleaner.  Pick this bottle:



Fill the bottle to the "water" line on the label




Fill with Concentrate to the "soap" line on the label 



Top off the bottle SLOWLY with water, screw the nozzle back on, and shake to mix.  You are now ready to clean!  




The Bathroom cleaner did a great job of cleaning the mold from our bathroom sinks and also removed scum and mold from the tile and grout in our shower.  

It even did a great job of removing this mold from our kitchen sink (don't think the Bathroom cleaner can only be used in the Bathroom).

Kitchen sink - BEFORE

Kitchen Sink - AFTER

There is also a spray bottle for "Streak-Free" cleaning. This cleaner only requires ONE DROP of Concentrate! It's great for cleaning glass, windows, and mirrors.  It leaves windows and mirrors streak-free without the ammonia scent that Windex leaves behind.



Since Branch Basics is 100% food-grade and totally free of synthetic chemicals such as dyes, foaming agents, colorants, solvents, and fragrances, it is completely safe for cleaning surfaces that kids normally touch and sometimes lick - like their toys.


The spray bottles are BPA-free, reusable, and attractive enough to keep on the counter.




Also available is a handy 2 ounce All-Purpose Cleaner that you can conveniently carry in your purse, diaper bag, or backpack and is very useful for cleaning hands and surfaces on-the-go.  You can also use it as a stain-remover!

The 2 ounce All-Purpose Spray bottle is re-usable and comes in handy when you need to wipe down sticky high chairs and tables, or when you're at a restroom that has empty soap dispensers.


While Branch Basics works excellent in the usual places like kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, showers, and mirrors, it can also be used as a laundry detergent, hand soap, stain remover, wood floors, and even baby soap!

If you aren't convinced yet, here are more reasons to use Branch Basics:

  • Human Safe
  • Non-GMO
  • Biodegradable
  • Hypo-Allergenic
  • No Pesticides
  • Preservative-Free
  • Cruelty-Free & Vegan
  • Gluten-Free

It is also economical, since you are replacing virtually your entire fleet of cleaners with one simple product that goes a long way.

For more information on Branch Basics, or to order your Starter Kit, click HERE.

BRANCH BASICS
Website: https://branchbasics.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BranchBasics
Instagram: https://instagram.com/branchbasics/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BranchBasics

Complimentary product received for review purposes. 


April 3, 2015

Yellowbird DVD Review


About the Movie:  Take a journey with the most unlikely hero when the adorable and heartwarming tale, Yellowbird, flies onto DVD, Digital HD and On Demand April 7 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Awarded the Dove Seal of Approval, the digitally animated film is perfect for the whole family. Headlined by the voice talents of Seth Green (Austin Powers franchise), Dakota Fanning (The Twilight Saga) and Danny Glover (The Color People), Yellowbird includes a behind-the-scenes look at the voice recording for the film and a "making of" featurette and will be available on DVD for the suggested retail price of $19.98.

 My children (ages 8 and 4) and I sat down with some popcorn to watch the animated CGI movie.  I was excited to recognize the voices of some of my favorite actors like Dakota Fanning, Seth Green, and Danny Glover.  While my daughter, the eight-year-old who's been on a Powerpuff Girls kick, couldn't stay captivated, my son was completely enthralled.  And so was I.  The graphics were amazing and I continued to be impressed throughout the movie.

The story centers on Yellowbird, an orphan, who leads a group of birds on a migration to Africa after their leader dies.  They encounter much excitement and adventure on the way as well as learning lessons of courage and friendship.  The story of Yellowbird was actually inspired when in 1974; airlines flew thousands of European swallows to North Africa because the swallows began dying of the cold before they could migrate.

This was a great family movie for my son and me.  It's sure to be one that we can watch together again and again.

Complimentary product received for review purposes.  All opinions are entirely my own.


April 2, 2015

Just Live - The First Premium Leggings at Low Cost

In the world of fitness fashion, there are two options: affordable but uncomfortable, unsupportive, see through and short-lived; or a major premium brand that looks great, but empties bank accounts with a single pair of pants! At Just Live they believe women shouldn’t have to choose. That’s why they’ve searched high and low for the best fabrics and techniques to create high-end, functional, and fashionable yoga pants that encourage women to appreciate all that they have and just live!  


Just Live’s own propriety precision fabric blend, Yolon, ensures their yoga pants are:
  • Breathable, soft, and lightweight
  • 4 – ways Stretchable
  • Stain Resistant and fade proof
  • UPF Protected against harmful UV rays (plus, they aren’t see through)
  • Fast-drying
  • Antimicrobial
  • Virtually odor proof


Grown tremendously over the past four years.
Already established as a favorite among women in Miami and South Florida, Just Live has grown tremendously since their founding in 2011. Money raised through their Kickstarter campaign will go towards two major goals: Research and Development, and making their yoga pants even more premium.  This includes padding in the leggings for support and fit, breathable mesh inserts for increased airflow, stronger yet softer materials that offer an opportunity for reusable resources to keep carbon footprint down.
 For more information, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1428920854/119504178?token=9d16cb43

April 1, 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Blu-ray Giveaway #TheHobbit

From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.
Special Features on the Blu-Ray combo pack include:

• New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth Part 3
• Recruiting the Five Armies
• Completing Middle-earth: A Six-Part Saga
• Completing Middle-earth: A Seventeen-Year Journey
• The Last Goodbye: Behind the Scenes
• Music Video
• Trailers
Check out The Hobbit blog app below, where you can do the following:
• Are you Brave like Bilbo? Take the quiz to find out if you have the bravery it takes to journey through Middle Earth!
• Mouse over the Interactive Map to learn fun facts about Middle-Earth.
• Watch the official trailer & click the box art to bring the film home today!

Win: One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Battle of the Five Armies on Blu-ray!

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***
Congratulations to Leela!

  • To enter, comment on why you'd like to win.
  • You’ll get one extra entry each if you do any of the following (be sure to leave a comment for each “entry”):
  • 1)Follow me on Bloglovin ("new" and "existing" followers eligible)
  • 2)Subscribe to my feed via RSS or email ("new" and "existing" subscribers eligible)
  • 3)Follow me on Instagram ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your user name in your comment)
  • 4)Follow me on Twitter ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your Twitter name in your comment)
  • 5)Tweet this giveaway--you may tweet once per day based on HST (leave the link in your comment) 
  • The deadline for entries is April 15, 2015 11:59pm HST.
  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia, eighteen (18) years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.   
  • Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Blu-ray The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
  • If you submitted an eligible entry and it is chosen by random.org as the winner, you will be notified via email on or about April 16, 2015 (make sure your email address is in your profile or comment and be sure to check your junk/spam, etc. folders) and will have 3 days to respond.
  • Valid for US addresses only. 
  • By entering in this giveaway, you have read and agreed to Sage and Savvy’s Terms of Use.
    Good luck!


Thank you to Warner Home Video for providing the product for giveaway free of charge. Click here for my disclosure policy.

March 31, 2015

Target's REDcard Gives You More

Disclosure:  The below links are affiliate links.  

If you love shopping at Target just as much as I do, the Target REDCard saves you more while giving you more at the same time!

Target's REDcard debit and credit cards are free, no-fee cards that give consumers a wide array of shopping benefits. For example, guests get 5% off every day

Other benefits:
  • Free shipping at Target.com (no minimum purchase)
  • Extended returns -- 30 extra days
  • Up to 1% of purchases go to school of your choice
  • The online application process for debit and credit has immediate approval (except for some debit applications that require a few days to confirm a bank account)
  • REDcard holders can easily check their credit card account balance, make a payment, review past statements, check their debit card transaction history and manage their PIN. They also get to enjoy exclusive offers available only to REDcard holders.

Sign up now and save!


Free Family Fun Day on Saturday, April 4th 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU invites all families, especially children with special needs, to All Kids Included – Arts For All, an  Accessible Arts Experience. The community art-happening is free and open to the public on Saturday, April 4 from 10am – 2pm. The family fun day, led by Zot Artz, opens up a whole new world of inclusive art-making with specially designed attachments for wheelchairs and other art-making adaptive tools created  for children with cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and other disabilities.

The program helps children develop motor skills, concentration, social interaction and self esteem.  Families will create life-changing, experiential artworks together in playful environments.



The event is co-sponsored by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and All Kids Included. The Frost Art Museum is located at Florida International University, 10975 S.W. 17 Street (map and directions) and is a cultural destination with a community-focused mission to educate and enlighten that is part of FIU’s Live the Arts program.  



Free Family Fun Day  (Saturday, April 4, 10am-2pm)
At this inclusive and interactive painting and printmaking experience, parents will be able to create and play along with their kids using adaptive art tools created by acclaimed artist and inventor Dwayne Szot.

Watch a video about this innovative art-making experience here ...


www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8oZ8gInekI

Mr. Szot has been invited to Miami to facilitate the activities, with his innovative assistive technologies that provide one-of-a-kind creative expression through arts and mobility (such as wheelchairs with attachments for painting on large-scale blank canvases that fill up the entire floor and walls of specially designed rooms).

 
Children of all abilities and ages can stamp, draw, and print to make their mark.  It's all play, but they learn, explore and develop skills while having fun together.

All tools and materials for kids to use at the event are free for the day, and include fun experiences such as  the Super Squirt (a switch-activated liquid paintbrush that attaches to wheelchairs and propels paint 10-15 feet in front of the user onto giant murals on the floor and the walls), the Art Roller (enabling kids to roll paint through an enormous field of color), the Pogo Paint Poles, and the Chalk Walk and Roll. (See examples of these adaptive tools here).



“The Frost Art Museum seeks to build its legacy of education and community outreach with this magical event for families and children with special needs, especially on the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),” said the museum’s Director, Dr. Jordana Pomeroy.

“All year long, our education programs are designed to nurture and increase each participant's knowledge of art, honoring our mission to serve art lovers of all ages, means and backgrounds including the culturally diverse FIU community, residents and visitors,” adds Dr. Pomeroy.






More About Dwayne Szot and Zot Artz

Dwayne Szot grew up in a mid-western foster home with a foster brother and sister who had cerebral palsy.

Other children and adults with disabilities lived in the home, and Szot observed and respected the special challenges they faced. He credits that experience for giving him the courage and motivation to create the “painting wheelchair” to help children with disabilities create art.

Originally, as an artist and engineer, he designed and built machines that he used to apply color to huge surfaces including building walls, roofs, and even a frozen lake.

Having studied how a machine could extend his own ability to make a mark, and remembering his foster siblings’ struggles, Szot was inspired to create a mechanical device that would serve to also extend a disabled person’s ability to make a mark.

     

He has worked with special education departments, hospitals, and residential facilities. He founded Zot Artz to create adaptive art tools and make them available to teachers, therapists, residential providers, hospitals, parks, and other facilities. Szot also facilitates art experiences nationwide using his inventions.







Workshop for Educators (Friday, April 3, 8:30am-4pm)

This event is a training session for educators, therapists, artists, and community service personnel. (Registration required in advance/not open to the general public.) This workshop provides techniques and strategies that are inclusive for social-emotional, artistic and academic implementation.

There will be segments on accommodation/modification of techniques to adapt content for children and youth with disabilities.  The workshop will feature Zot Artz and Jeff Deen’s Drumming for Wellness.  For more information/to register, contact Dia Carter Webb at Arts for Learning: 305-576-1212 or dia@a4Lmiami.org.

 

ModCloth - 1st-Ever Fit Shop in LA

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Got plans April 9-11? Well, you do now: ModCloth IRL! They're hosting their 1st-ever fit shop in LA, where you can try on an array of items including dresses, tops, bottoms, shoes, & the requisite cat-printed pieces, meet the peeps behind the 'screens', get measurements taken by a pro, & more. Get all the deets and RSVP now on their event page!


Commemorate Lincoln’s Assassination with DC Walking Tour “Assassinations in the Capital”

April 15th will mark 150 years since President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. All these years later we are still a country fascinated with the man who changed the course of history and managed to keep the nation intact. A great way to commemorate the assassination is to take the new walking tour, titled “Assassinations in the Capital,” being offered by the Crime Museum, located in Washington, D.C.

“Through the years we have always put guest suggestions into action. Often tourists ask us if there is an assassination walking tour in DC, so I am glad we can finally fulfill this request” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer of the Crime Museum. “It seems appropriate to launch “Assassinations in the Capital” during anniversary of Lincoln’s death and guests will experience not only Lincoln’s story, but other presidential assassinations in a unique Crime Museum fashion, and I have no doubt our guests will enjoy it.”

The new walking tour being offered at the Crime Museum lasts 90 minutes and covers a two-mile stretch. Those who take the tour will experience a fascinating journey to locations such as the site of President Garfield’s assassination, sites related to the conspiracy to kill President Lincoln, the site of an attempt on the life of President Truman, the Navy Memorial, FBI Headquarters, the White House, and Lafayette Square. The tour is designed for ages 10 and up.

In addition to offering the “Assassinations in the Capital” walking tour, participants can visit the Crime Museum, to learn a wide variety of other notable crime history. They will see temporary and permanent exhibits covering topics ranging from domestic terrorism to wildlife trafficking (coming soon). The museum also offers hands-on exhibits and interactive forensic workshops.

To purchase tickets for the walking tour, or get more information about this or other exhibits at the Crime Museum, visit their site at www.crimemuseum.org.

A Spring Weekend Getaway in Italy

To enjoy a spring weekend in a special way, why not consider a relaxing getaway in Italy? In one of the most beautiful regions of this country, far away from the mass tourism, an authentic temple of wine: Terenzi winery - with its evocative and cozy lodging house.

Famous for its high quality wines, such as Morellino of Scansano, the Locanda Terenzi, in the heart of Maremma, is the place to be: special holiday packages have been created expressly for weekends.

Guests will be offered a visit of the cellar matched with wine and local delicatessen tastings. To relax and enjoy a condition of peacefulness, there is the free entrance to Saturnia natural thermal baths, with their warm open-air pools. Last but not least, for adventure lovers, Terenzi offers horseback riding through the wonderful hills, embroidered with vines and olive trees which surround the estate.

Weekend in maremma WITH TERENZI:
- Two nights with accommodation and breakfast (breakfast can be served in the room if required)
- Welcome tea and pastries
- Wine tasting and visit to the wine cellar
- Free entrance for two to the Saturnia thermal baths.

Costs of the holiday package for two nights:
€ 109,00 per person in a standard double room
€ 119,00 per person in a double room with garden

Gheusis Srl
Sede operativa: Piazza Sordi, 2
31027 Spresiano (TV)
Tel: 39 0422 928954
Email: info@gheusis.com
Web: www.gheusis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ufficiostampagheusis

Brio Ice Cream Review

 

 
My children are ice cream monsters.  When I read a review for Brio, advertised as a smart ice cream and packed with 24 essential vitamins and minerals, including antioxidant Vitamins A, C, E and selenium as well as calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D, I thought awesome!  An ice cream that is good for you!  

 
When I brought home the samples for the family to try, I have to be honest and say that I had my doubts.  While I don’t stock ice cream in my freezer, I still have my favorites and anything low fat or skinny in the label does not come home with me from the store.  As a result, my kids favor creamy and rich ice cream.  I was skeptical if Brio, which on average when compared to similar flavors of super premium ice creams has approximately 25 percent fewer calories per 4 ounce serving, half the total fat, and 10 percent less sugar, would make the grade.

 
Brio is actually labeled a frozen dairy dessert because it has only 3 grams of milk fat in a 4 fluid ounce (100 gram) serving.  To be officially labeled “ice cream” the FDA requires 10 percent milk fat or 10 grams.  With only a third of the milk fat, Brio tastes just like ice cream.  The kids loved it and my husband and I were very pleasantly surprised that something so good for you, tasted just as rich and creamy as the “bad” stuff.   

 
Brio is available in 5 different flavors:  coffee latte, strawberry, vanilla-caramel, mellow dark chocolate, and tropical mango.  My daughter favored the vanilla-caramel and the coffee while my son bogarted both the strawberry and tropical mango.  The chocolate wasn’t sweet enough for me, but I loved the vanilla-caramel.  My husband really enjoyed the mellow dark chocolate.  It was great that we each easily found our favorite flavor.  It was awesome to find a dessert that the family enjoyed and knowing that it’s good for you is an added bonus! 

 
You’ll be happy to know that Brio is low glycemic, gluten-free, and uses only fresh milk that is r-BST-free, which means no synthetic hormones.  Brio is a good source of protein and its ingredients are sourced to be GMO-free. Brio use real mangoes, strawberries, coffee extract and vanilla, as well as other natural ingredients for flavoring. There are no artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors in Brio.

 
Brio is brought to you by Arnie and Ron Koss, the co-founders of Earth's Best Baby Food.  Their team of flavor developers included past Ben & Jerry's employees as well as top nutritionists and dietitians in the United States. 

 
Brio is distributed by Meadow Gold Dairy and is now available statewide at stores including Foodland, Foodland Farms, Sack N Save, KTA Super Stores, Pukalani Superette and the Waikoloa Village Market.  Pick some up for your family and be confident knowing you are serving them more than a delicious treat. 



The 4oz snack sizes are perfect for little (greedy) hands.


See how he is positioning the ice creams closer to him?


The ice cream monsters have taken control of their favorite flavors.


Happy ice cream monsters.
Thank you to Brio for the complimentary samples!  All opinions are my own. 



March 30, 2015

Tori Amos 2-CD Deluxe Edition Releases and Little Earthquakes 2-CD Deluxe Edition Giveaway

One of the most successful and influential artists of her generation, Tori Amos is as much a force to be reckoned with today as when she released her first solo album Little Earthquakes over 2 decades ago. Eschewing the trends of the time, the prodigious chanteuse touched millions deeply with her arresting melodies, riveting stage presence and personal & honest lyrics. Amos is releasing 2-CD deluxe editions of her debut and sophomore solo albums, Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink, each newly re-mastered and paired with an entire disc of rare b-sides and bonus tracks.

In the original assembly of Little Earthquakes, difficult choices had to be made to ensure the album’s balance and flow. Fortunately, songs that didn’t make the record itself were able to see the light of day as a copious stream of single b-sides released in the US and UK for both Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink. Often these tracks were intertwined with album cuts, for example “Pretty Good Year” becomes an extension of “Ode To The Banana King (Part One)” which itself was b-side to “Silent All These Years”. They also showcased Amos’ innate ability to reinvent popular songs, perhaps the most notable being Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” a masterpiece study in understatement.

Now, these rarities and live versions will be available worldwide on April 14 from Rhino. The remastered versions of both original albums will also be released on 180-gram vinyl on the same date, marking the first time both albums will be available on vinyl in the US.

Originally released in 1992 and 1994 respectively, the songs of Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink continue to live and thrive to this day. As Amos tells it, “Little Earthquakes was an acknowledgement of things that I hadn’t looked at in 15 years, in some cases… After you acknowledge something, you tell everybody, and other people say, ‘I know what that’s like, too.’ There’s this energy charge you get, and liberation from doing that.” She continues to find that the audience response to “Silent All These Years” remains deep and immediate nearly a quarter century later, counting it as her most requested song and one that walks with her every day. It will continue to do so as long as she is playing music.

Little Earthquakes (1992) Disc 1: Original Album
1. “Crucify”
2. “Girl”
3. “Silent All These Years”
4. “Precious Things”
5. “Winter”
6. “Happy Phantom”
7. “China”
8. “Leather”
9. “Mother”
10. “Tear In Your Hand”
11. “Me And A Gun”
12. “Little Earthquakes”

Bonus Disc 2
1. “Upside Down” (from Silent All These Years single)
2. “Thoughts” (from Silent All These Years single)
3. “Ode to The Banana King (Part One)” (from Silent All These Years single)
4. “Song for Eric” (from Silent All These Years single)
5. “The Pool” (from Winter single)
6. “Take To The Sky” (from Winter single)
7. “Sweet Dreams” (from Winter single)
8. “Mary” (from Crucify single)
9. “Sugar” (from China single)
10. “Flying Dutchman” (from China single)
11. “Humpty Dumpty” (from China single)
12. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (from Winter single)
13. “Little Earthquakes” (Live in Cambridge – Apr 5, 1992) (from Crucify single)
14. “Crucify” (Live in Cambridge – Apr 5, 1992) (from Crucify single)
15. “Precious Things” (Live in Cambridge – Apr 5, 1992) (from Crucify single)
16. “Mother” (Live in Cambridge – Apr 5, 1992) (from Crucify single)
17. “Happy Phantom” (Live) (from Silent All These Years single)
18. “Here In My Head” (from Crucify single)

Under The Pink (1994) Disc 1: Original Album
1. “Pretty Good Year”
2. “God”
3. “Bells For Her”
4. “Past The Mission”
5. “Baker Baker”
6. “The Wrong Band”
7. “The Waitress”
8. “Cornflake Girl”
9. “Icicle”
10. “Cloud On My Tongue”
11. “Space Dog”
12. “Yes, Anastasia”

Bonus Disc 2
1. “Sister Janet” [from Cornflake Girl single]
2. “Honey” [from Cornflake Girl single]
3. “Daisy Dead Petals” [from Cornflake Girl single]
4. “Over It” [from Cornflake Girl single]
5. “Black Swan” [from Pretty Good Year single]
6. “Home On the Range” (with Cherokee Addition) [from Pretty Good Year single]
7. “All The Girls Hate Her” [from Cornflake Girl single]
8. “God” (The CJ Bollard Remix) [from God 12”]
9. “Here in My Head” [live] [from Past the Mission single]
10. “Upside Down” [live] [from Past the Mission single]
11. “Past the Mission” [live] [from Past the Mission single]
12. “Icicle” [live] [from Past the Mission single]
13. “Flying Dutchman” [live] [from Past the Mission single]
14. “Winter” [live] [from Past the Mission single]
15. “The Waitress” [live] [from Past the Mission single]

Shop: You can pre-order Little Earthquakes on Amazon by clicking here or on iTunes by clicking here.  Pre-order Under the Pink on Amazon here or on iTunes here.




Win: One lucky winner will receive a copy of Tori Amos: Little Earthquakes 2-CD Deluxe Edition!

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***
Congratulations to Holly B!
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March 26, 2015

SENZA Hotel in Napa Valley to Pay Room Taxes Before April 15

Tax season is upon us and guests visiting the Napa Valley on or before April 15th will get a tax break. SENZA has offered to pay the room tax, a 14% discount, if guests book the ‘Relax & We’ll Pay Your Tax’ package. The package also includes a complimentary bottle of Napa Valley wine upon arrival in the guests room, daily breakfast catered by Yountville hot-spot Bouchon and evening wine hour. SENZA also offers free wifi and free parking.

SENZA caters the sophisticated traveler offering luxury in a relaxed atmosphere enabling a one of a kind wine country experience. With 41-modern guest rooms and suites, an outdoor pool with cabanas paired with spectacular vineyard views, guests are offered a variety of amenities including luxurious spa services including couples massages, and facials.

Napa couple Craig and Kathryn Hall purchased this property in 2006, formerly known as La Residence, which rebranded as SENZA this past fall. Kathryn has had a prominent career as a vintner and businesswoman over the past 3 decades but is most known as a public figure as our former United States Ambassador to Austria during the Clinton Administration. The Hall’s aim to share the essence of the Napa Valley, bringing together food, wine, and art together, in a beautiful country setting through SENZA.

ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight Launches Interactive Tool Predicting Flight Delays

Following detailed statistical analysis of millions of flight records, today ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight launched "Which Flight Will Get You There Fastest?" – a new analysis and interactive tool that helps readers select a flight with the shortest route.  

In the introductory piece, Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver describes the algorithm he developed for the interactive graphic, which provides one of the most accurate measures of flights’ on-time performance.  The tool allows viewers to explore the results of the analysis to discover which airlines, airports and individual flights are most likely to get them to their destination on time. Each of the flights is graded fast, medium and slow and assigned an average number of minutes added to a trip. Readers can also find out how all the airlines stack up across all their flights over the past year.

The interactive graphic will live on FiveThirtyEight and be updated monthly, based on data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

 
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