Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fresh Beat Band Of Spies' Kiki Talks With Life Songs Of A Busy Mom

I recently was able to interview Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, who many of you will recognize as the award-winning television star known worldwide as "Kiki" from Nickelodeon's critically-acclaimed live-action musical series "The Fresh Beat Band."

Yvette is now starring in the brand-new Nick Jr. animated series "Fresh Beat Band of Spies," which teaches problem-solving to preschoolers. Based on the hit live-action show where the four best friends — Kiki, Marina, Twist and Shout – are also a group of undercover spies and the pop band uses their individual talents and the coolest transforming spy gadgets to outwit a goofy cast of bad guys and solve an endless series of wild and wacky mysteries.

Yvette also recently released a new song and music video for her adult audience titled "Havana," (Click HERE to watch her music video) which blends her vibrant Cuban culture with soulful timeless pop hooks, R&B and Latin influences that seamlessly intertwine throughout her debut single. In addition to vocal duties, Yvette is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, playing violin, guitar and piano on her upcoming album. Since her first violin lesson at the age of three, this young creative soul has been immersed in a musically diverse world that established her early on as a multifaceted artist who was comfortable in any genre. She sang and acted professionally from her early teens and performed for royalty and heads of state with a jazz vocal group she helped form. She started high school at the age of 12 and graduated from the University of Miami on an opera scholarship at just 19 years of age. Shortly after, she took the stage with the Florida Grand Opera, performed at Carnegie Hall, and was discovered by the legendary Engelbert Humperdinck.  Since then, she has performed with some of the music industry's tops artists including Ne-Yo, Jason Mraz, Wyclef Jean, Gloria Estefan, Justin Bieber and All-4-One, among others.

I had a couple of questions for Yvette about her new show, and this is what she said:

1.     How has the transition been from The Fresh Beat Band to The Fresh Beat Band Of Spies? 

Turning the show into an animated series and adding these new elements was such a wonderful way to allow the show to continue to evolve.  For us, it has been incredible and so far, the feedback from the fans has been nothing but positive!  I’m so happy everyone’s loving it!

2.     Is it easier or harder in your opinion to do an animated show over a live-action one?
It is infinitely easier doing the animated version!  You can technically show up to work in pajamas if you wanted to and it would be perfectly acceptable.  Unfortunately, I didn’t capitalize on that this time around, but hoping they pick it up for a second season so I can!

   3. Talk a little bit about your new character in The Fresh Beat Band Of Spies and how she is different/similar to the live action Kiki. 
She is still the same spunky, fun-loving Kiki who rocks out at shows with her friends, only now she is also a really cool spy who owns a beauty salon too. 

4.     What are your personal goals for the future? (Where do you hope to see yourself in the next 5-10 years?)
How much time do you have?  In a nutshell, I hope to be happy, continue to do what I love and work with the people I admire

My kids loved the Fresh Beat Band, and I know they are going to love the Fresh Beat Band Of Spies as well.  Check out the show weekdays on NickJr. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

LeapFrog's Summer Camp!

LeapFrog is hosting the first annual “Summer Camp”, where parents can sign up for 8 weeks of free printables, activities, articles, videos, and more, that help kids stay engaged and learning over the summer. Each week presents a different theme, with materials covering skills in math, reading, science, creativity, and more!

For some background, research shows that children experience learning losses when they don’t engage in educational activities over the summer. As much as two months of learning can be lost during those long summer months (particularly in the math and science subject areas), which is why it’s extremely important to keep children’s brains active and challenged year round.

So head over to LeapFrog to sign up for LeapFrog's Summer Camp!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Homemade Bug Spray With Essential Oils

Here's an easy and safe way to make bug spray at home using essential oils.

To make this homemade bug spray, you'll need:

DoTERRA TerraShield (full bottle)
DoTERRA Arborvitae (20 drops)
DoTerra Lemongrass (20drops)
Witch Hazel (1/2 cup)
Distilled or boiled water (1/2 cup)
Glass spray bottle

You can get the DoTERRA oils here
Please watch the video below to see how to make this bug repellent:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Get Ready With Me May 2015

Here's a get ready with me video using the products I currently love in May 2015. 

Because there are so many products shown, I am not going to list them all below, but I did give up close views of everything so you can see what I used and how I used it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me below, and I hope you enjoy this video.

Monday, May 18, 2015

How To Make Bubbling Brew

Here's a fun and colorful science experiment you can do with your kids.
It's called Bubbling Brew, and it's made with things you most likely already have in your home.

Here's how to make bubbling brew with your kids:

You'll need:
Cylindrical type containers
Apple cider vinegar (I used both apple cider and white, but apple cider seemed to work better)
Liquid food coloring
Dish soap
Baking Soda
Glitter (Optional)

Fill the container half way with vinegar, then add a few drops of food coloring (and glitter if you wish).
Next, add some dish soap and when you're ready, add some baking soda.

That's it! 
It's super fun for the kids, and is a pretty neat science experiment.

Let me know how it turns out for you in the comments below.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Designer's Edge Hair Studio And Bella Vita Garden Spa Mother's Day Giveaway!

Most of you who follow me, know I get my hair cut and colored by Master Stylist Bobbie Jean Hasbrouck at
Bobbie Jean Hasbrouck
Bobbie Jean Hasbrouck
Designer's Edge Hair Studio.

Bobbie Jean has been cutting and coloring my hair since 2011, and believe me when I say she's amazing! She knows exactly which colors to use on my hair, and she knows how to cut and texturize my hair to make styling a breeze.

If you ever are in Salisbury and want a great color and cut, I highly recommend her. But make sure to get in with her early enough, because she's usually booked for weeks and even months (She's that good).

I also get my massages done at Designer's Edge Bella Vita Garden Spa, and the atmosphere there is beyond relaxing.
Designer's Edge offers over 9 different massage packages with many add-ons to fit your needs.

They also offer nail services, makeup, skincare, and Med Spa services such as Botox, Juvederm, Laser Hair removal, spider vein therapy, chemical peels and microdermabrasion, just to name a few.

They also offer a wide range of products in house. You can get it all done in one place with Designer's Edge Hair Studio and Bella Vita Garden Spa.

Since Designer's Edge is the one-stop shop for all your beauty needs, I wanted to give one lucky Mom a full day of pampering from Designer's Edge Hair Studio and Bella Vita Garden Spa!

One lucky mom will receive:
 Her hair and makeup done,

A manicure and pedicure,

And a one hour massage!

I must say I'm going to be so jealous of the lucky mom who wins this!

So make sure to enter below!

Giveaway is open to US residents ages 18 and over.
Winner must live within 100 miles of Salisbury, MD and also be a mother.

Please let the Rafflecopter widget fully load below:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom Review

Photo credit: Disney Nature

Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom (rated G) hits theaters April 17th, and for every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2015), Disneynature will make a donation to Conservation International to help protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats. 

“Monkey Kingdom” is the sixth theatrical release for Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years.  The label was launched in April 2008 to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to capture a variety of wildlife subjects and stories.
My brother and sister-in-law, along with their son Caleb, attended an early screening of the film in Washington DC.

Here is what they had to say about the movie:

"Disney’s Monkey Kingdom is a fun film for all ages.  It’s a creative yet very informative documentary of a macaque monkey’s social class system that takes place in Asia.  Narrated by Tina Fey, her voice over makes the film that much more entertaining.  With their human-like behavior and social issues, you can’t help but relate to these interesting characters. 
Following the story of main character Maya, this film documents her struggles with being part of the lower class.  Being born into the lower-class, Maya has to deal with the daily struggles of being in the shadows of her upper-classmates.  At the top of ladder is a male by the name of Raja and his three chosen females that are referred to as “the sisters”.  Maya spends her day scrounging the jungle floors waiting for scraps that fall her way, many days falling asleep with an empty belly. 
This story takes a turn when an outside male suitor by the name of Kumar comes into the group and takes an interest in Maya.  He makes a mistake of “crossing” Raja and is cast out from the group.  Months later, Maya gives birth to a healthy baby boy.  Faced with caring for her baby on her own, Maya has to become more creative in looking for food for survival and becomes more “street smart” in the process. 
Follow Maya and this group on their journey of love and survival.  This family-friendly film is great for its use of real documented footage of these amazing creatures.  The younger audience is captivated by the monkeys playing and swinging while the mature audiences are enjoying the playfully amusing use of creative voiceover.  Prepare yourself for a fun and silly adventure!"

Review written by Vicki Cecchetti for Life Songs Of A Busy Mom

So make sure you and your little monkeys swing into theaters April 17th to watch Monkey Kingdom!