Now at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”

We just saw the latest production at NJ’s Paper Mill Playhouse, and it was just delightful. Fun, adorable, and timely ( gotta love those shows that update their material to be relevant to the times and situations), it was a good time for any age. Both cute and funny, the show was a modern take on the classic (and the folktale) Cinderella, who takes a lot less guff then her cartoon buddies did. While still being oh so sweet and of course a bit of a doormat (because, face it- she kind of has to be to survive) she makes her own way, her own friends, and is pretty feisty at times. While you wouldn’t necessarily jump to call her a “hero”, she’s kind to everyone and inspires people to be their best selves and to do the right things- and in this time? That’s pretty heroic. Self rescuing heroine, pleased to see that. No fainting maidens in distress, waiting for some man to save them. Appreciate that.

Take your kids. Take your family. And have a nice date night.

This enchanting, Tony-nominated Broadway adaptation of the beloved musical will put a spell on audiences of all ages. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella showcases some of the songwriting duo’s loveliest tunes, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” as well as some new characters and surprising twists. Add a dash of fairytale romance, magical onstage transformations, and the iconic pumpkin and glass slippers—and you’re guaranteed to have a ball!

The production team includes scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by William Ivey Long, costume coordination by Tom Beall, lighting design by Charlie Morrison, sound design by Matt Kraus and hair and wig design by Paul Huntley. The Production Stage Manager is Andrea Cibelli. Casting is by Telsey + Company, Lauren Harris, CSA.

Tickets for *Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella* start at $32 and may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. All major credit cards accepted. Groups of 10 or more may receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance. Check Paper Mill Playhouse’s website at www.PaperMill.org for special holiday performance schedules. Performance schedule November 20 – 24: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Performance schedule November 27 – December 29: Wednesdays at 7:00pm, Thursdays at 1:30pm and 7:00pm, Fridays at 7:00pm, Saturdays at 1:30pm and 7:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm.

WIN Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Video Game #GiftGuide

 

best video games

Now available, the new Mario and Sonicat the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Here is my son’s review of the game-

Have you ever wanted to see Mario vs. Dr. Eggman? Or Sonic vs. Bowser? As of November 5, you can pit all of Mario’s and Sonic’s iconic characters against each other in the biggest video game mash-up of 2019, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020! Take rivalries to the skate park, diving board, archery range, and more with an incredible suite of 3D and 2D events, imaginative Dream events (who hasn’t wanted to see Sonic on a hoverboard AGAIN?) and an expansive Story Mode.

What you need to know about Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020:

  • Brand New Story: Help Mario & Sonic escape from a 2D-themed console, the “Tokyo ’64,” hatched as part of Dr. Eggman’s and Bowser’s nefarious plans to trap the colorful and capable power pair.
  • A Bountiful Medley of Events: Skateboard, surf, and race your way to the top of the podium! With more than 30 events to master in this fun-filled Olympic Games showdown, there are plenty of ways to prove your skills to your friends in local and online multiplayer.
  • Push the Boundaries: Dream Events deliver a layer of fantastical chaos. Zip through a downhill obstacle course on your hoverboard, throwdown for territorial control with lightning-fast karate action, or smash the most targets inside a traditional Japanese manor!
  • So Many Ways to Play*: Exclusively on Nintendo Switch, determine who the real champion is while using the fun and flexibility of Joy-Con controllers to your advantage.
  • Play with a Cast of Fan-Favorite Characters: The gang’s all here! Play as Mario, Sonic, and a star-studded cast of your favorite SEGA and Nintendo characters!

Mario and Sonic Are Back in the Perfect Party Game on November 5.

Enjoy all the different classic 2D events, perfect for friends and family:

  • 100m
  • 10m Platform (Diving)
  • 400m Hurdles
  • Gymnastics – Vault
  • Judo
  • Kayak Single (K-1) 1000m
  • Long Jump
  • Marathon
  • Shooting – Trap
  • Volleyball

You will also dash, climb, jump, surf and more in these fast-paced 3D events:

  • 100m
  • 110m Hurdles
  • 4 x 100m Relay
  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Boxing
  • Canoe Double (C-2) 1000m
  • Discus Throw
  • Equestrian – Jumping
  • Fencing
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Gymnastics – Floor Exercise
  • Javelin Throw
  • Karate – Kumite
  • Rugby Sevens
  • Skateboarding – Park
  • Sport Climbing
  • Surfing – Shortboard
  • Swimming – 100m Freestyle
  • Table Tennis
  • Triple Jump

The fun even goes beyond the limits of reality with all-new Dream Events:

  • Dream Karate
  • Dream Racing
  • Dream Shooting

Release Date

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will take to the starting blocks exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on November 5 in the Americas for $59.99 USD and November 8 in Europe with commensurate pricing. For more information, including where ordering the game, be sure to visit the official website, and watch our latest trailer.

*Joy-Con functionality does not extend to all events.

**Internet connection required during online play. To use online services, you must create a Nintendo Account and accept the related agreement. The Nintendo Account Privacy Policy applies. Some online services may not be available in all countries. Online play requires paid online membership.

One of you can win a video game of your own as well. Please feel free to enter to win using the RC code below. Good luck! Ends Dec. 4, 2019.

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Stocking Stuffers for Teen and Tween Boys #GiftGuide

Looking to stuff your son’s stocking with items he will actually use? Check out Prep U Products (available on Amazon) for teens or boys.

natural soap for kids

Made for boys aged eight and up, Prep U is committed to providing all-natural body care products that are a clean-smelling, chemical-free and effective.  There is a full line of personal care products aimed at the males of the species- though I admit, I really, really like the deodorant and got one for myself. The body washes are also nice for everyone, even if they are aimed at boys. The smell is soothing and refreshing, and I like them as much as they do. I am the “rose amongst thorns” in the house and a bit outnumbered, so perhaps I lean toward things male, but hey. At least you know the smell is pleasant to both sexes. Here are some items to consider;

Back-to-Basics (Price: $32.00) 

Includes all of the signature products: Body Spray, Body Wash and Natural Deodorant.

TRVL Kit (Price: $29.00) 

Prep U’s travel sizes are great for any on-the-go needs from weekend trips to summer camps. The kit includes: 2oz Active Dry Powder, 2oz Body Spray, 2oz Body Wash, canvas travel kit.

Charcoal Face + Body Set (Price: $24.00) 

Prep U’s Charcoal Scrub and Charcoal Bar detoxifies and gently exfoliates skin.

charcoal body wash

I like the charcoal items for my youngest son, age 12, who has a skin condition which causes his skin to erupt in itchy red bumps and rashes. He has so many creams and soaps, but the charcoal also soothes his skin and reduces these breakouts. We use charcoal items often, and both he and I like these and give them our stamp of approval. They also smell nice- it says unscented, but to me it has a bit of a lemon-y smell.  The fact that they are chemical free and all natural makes them a no brainier.

If you have a smelly teen or tween boy in your life (and if he’s older then 5, you likely do, LOL) these will be quite useful gifts indeed. Try them out and shoot us a tweet or a comment, let us know what you think. We hope you like them as much as we do. Happy holidays, and enjoy.

Chef’s Knife That Makes The Cut This Holiday Season #GiftGuide

Looking for something for the foodie in your life? Check out this professional-grade cutlery that would be appreciated by the culinary artist in your life.

kitchen gadgets
Forged from a single blank of high-carbon steel, this 8-inch Chef’s Knife is crafted with special alloys that are guaranteed to maintain an extraordinary sharpness through everyday use – hand-sharpened to 12-degrees for maximum precision. The weighted blade is thin, resulting in less resistance with each slice. Its 60-day guarantee and free shipping make this a risk-free purchase for even the most selective buyers.Both EDGE’s blade and durable G10 Garolite handle are engineered for years of performance. Exceptionally sharp and easy to care for, this all-purpose kitchen tool immediately feels at home in your hand.

Lightweight, it cuts smoothly and easily. There is a page on their website dedicated to teaching you different knife cuts and skills, which is pretty interesting. Several videos as well. They also give helpful hints for the amateur chef such as “When cutting with a chef’s knife, your motion should be aimed down and through whatever you are chopping. A rocking motion of your wrist will be the most comfortable way to cut”.

Effortless cuts

Hand sharpened 12 degree edge by seasoned craftsman. Say hello to the sharpest knife you’ve held.

Carefree maintenance

We use a high chromium alloy to let you clean your knife now or wait a few hours. Because chromium doesn’t care.

Superb balance

As soon as you pick it up, EDGE just feels right. Like it was custom made.

If you have someone on your shopping list that loves to cook, this is sure to be a hit. A chef, a student who aspires? Even better. This will be a truly appreciated gift. Check out the site and see what it has to offer. There is also a lifetime warranty, free shipping, and 60 day return policy- so it’s an easy choice. It’s also on sale right now, so hurry over.

Win National Geographic Kids Books and Plush Toys #GiftGuide

Just in time for the holidays, National Geographic Kids Books is rolling out a brand new series of picture books that are perfect for kids ages 3-7 (preschool – 2nd grade).  To  celebrate the release of the first two books in their So Cool! So Cute! series, National Geographic is giving away a very huggable prize pack: a hardcover copy of So Cool! Sharks, a hardcover copy of So Cute! Pandas AND adorable shark and panda plushes.

shark book
So Cool! Sharks – Sharks are among the world’s top predators, but that’s just ONE reason why they are SO COOL. So who wouldn’t want to hang out with them to learn more! These books blend awesome animal photos with silly quips and info that will delight young readers and animal enthusiasts. For example, kids can catch the hunting habits of a great white shark while learning that its true nature is as chill as a frozen fish stick. This is the perfect little reader to get their brain buzzing and keep them laughing during downtime, bedtime, or anytime.
So Cute! Pandas – Get ready for cute overload, panda style. And the funny thing is, this panda isn’t just cute. It’s got attitude! You’ll flip over the adorable photos and be equally charmed by what this sassy little panda is thinking on every page. Introducing the brand-new series from National Geographic Kids that combines two wonderful things: super cute photos of all your favorite fluffy animals and silly text that will have the whole family laughing. Add to that some great nonfiction content that gets kids learning, and, what can we say? This series is just so cute!
These are perfect for gift giving- what kid wouldn’t love to receive them?
You can pick yours up online and you can enter to win below as well.
Good luck! Ends Nov. 29, 2019

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Eco Lips for Beauty and Compassionate Choices #GiftGuide

Are you a beauty enthusiast, but also an animal lover? If you are anything like me, you care deeply about the environment and the sanctity of life, and wouldn’t consider buying from brands that test on animals or willfully destroy the environment. Not to mention, why would you want to slather chemicals all over your face?

Eco Lips gives you both quality makeup as well as the environmentally safe ingredients you demand. 

no animal testing

The Lip + Cheek Tints collection makes for the perfect multitasking beauty balm to add to your routine this season. The collection is a line of three beauty balms that add color and hydration to every look. Eco Lips uses organic jojoba, coconut oil, organic and fair-trade cocoa butter, and sunflower seed wax, making it vegan-friendly, and cruelty-free as well as lightweight.

The Lip Food collection was curated using organic food-grade ingredients like spirulina algae, pumpkin seed, and chamomile mushroom that nourish, protect and plump the lips. The formula is also organic, fair trade.

The latest line, Ecolixir, boasts the power of oil to improve the skins’ overall health. As part of a natural wellness regimen, its the perfect gift for the clean beauty advocate.

All of Eco Lips‘ collections feature nothing but the best natural ingredients. Their Bee Free Vegan Lip Balm is perfect for vegans and green lifestylists. Their Specialty line is perfect for those who know that only the best will do. And of course, their newest Lip + Cheek Tints collection is the perfect multitasking beauty balm to add color all over.

More About Eco Lips

The story behind the Eco Lips brand is essentially a love story. As the creators of the first USDA-certified original organic lip balm, the family-owned company has expanded their line over time to encompass lifestyle and beauty products. All Eco Lips products are made with wind power offsets, fair trade, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. As a B-corp, they take customer satisfaction, product effectiveness, and good-for-the-world ethos seriously.

Stocking Stuffers for the Holidays #GiftGuide

Looking for some useful ideas for the upcoming season? No need to spend money on items that no one will really use, true? Great for health, beauty, and sleep, here are a few thoughts for items that will fill a stocking as well as be used cheerfully.

Doctor Plotka™’s Travel Toothbrush

Check out the Travel Brush for foldable, easy storage and that extra clean feeling. Embedded with silver technology to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria build-up for up to 6 hours after brushing, you can keep those germs away while you show off your pearly whites all winter long. Available for $5.99. 

itSpray

Dream – This natural herbal sleep aid will help you fall and stay asleep. Unlike a solo melatonin supplement, this spray additionally includes a proprietary blend of 5HTP and Valerian Root to relieve your stress and anxiety. Use 10 minutes before going to bed and control your dose. Start with a few sprays and go from there — up to 14 in 24 hours. The formula is gluten-free with no fillers or binders, so it absorbs quickly. Available for $24.99. 

facepeels

Check out the new Rose Gold Easy Peel-Off Mask from 7th Heaven. It’s launching at Claire’s stores in November, and is going to fly off the shelves.

This cruelty-free, vegan easy peel off mask is an ultra-deep nourishing formula that minimizes the appearance of pores, tones and purifies skin. It’s like a weekly boost for the skin to keep it glowing and vibrant. This metallic peel-off mask features Damask Rose Water, White Tea and Moonstone – available in single-serve pouches for $1.99 each.
immune therapy
Immunity Blend from Guru Nanda is a small but mighty bottle full of goodness. It features seven different therapeutic grade, 100% pure and natural essential oils that help the body resist germs – clove, eucalyptus, rosemary, frankincense, lemon, oregano and tea tree.
Use it in an aromatherapy diffuser for a healthy, spa-like experience. Or dilute it with purified water and use as a spray for cleaning household surfaces.
teeth whitening kit
For whiter and brighter teeth for all those holiday photos, try Luster Pro Light Dental Whitening System is fantastic for anyone who loves coffee, tea or any dark beverages! It features a patented Dual Power Dual Power Xenon Whitening Light and Stain Lifting Serum to whiten teeth up to 6 shades in 30 minutes! It’s a clinically proven professional whitening system with no messy trays or strips. The system gently whitens without sulfates (SLS). Enamel-Safe. System includes: Dual-Energy Whitening Light, Accelerinse, Stain Lifting Serum, Power White Pro Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste – Mint. $43.99 at Lusterpremiumwhite.com

Best Items for Active Parents

useful camping items

We love camping, and this is a great time of year to head out to your favorite campsite (or find a new one to explore).  What to pack, besides your tent and sleeping bags? We have a few suggestions for the Best Items for Active Parents.

best flashlights

One of the most important things to bring with you is lighting. You don’t want to wonder what you are about to run into on a middle of the night bathroom run. Recently, VSSL Outdoor Utility Tools and Mountain Khakis came together to bring out a very cool camping torch that is also a survival tool kit. A powerful light when you need it, you can also unscrew the cap to find mini disks that have different tools one might find useful inside. Lightweight at only one pound and impact resistant, it comes with 12 tins inside, including the flashlight disk itself, instructions, a compass, water purification tablets, first aid supplies, and more. The flashlight has four modes of LED light on it as well- medium, high, red, and SOS.  Available for $130 at https://www.mountainkhakis.com

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like to mess about with my hair when I’m camping or otherwise outdoors. Basically, I just want it kept out of the way. I really like Seirus, they offer a variety of options to keep you protected from the sun and as dry from sweat as can be in a no fuss manner. They have these multi-functional what they call “neck tubes” on the site, and that’s a pretty accurate description since that’s exactly what they look like. They can be worn around your neck to protect from the sun, around your head as a stay put headband that keeps the hair out of your face and sweat out of your eyes, a balaclava, and quite a few other ways to wear it- super versatile. They are quick drying, very breathable, and have a UPF of 25 built in. The site posts videos on the many ways to wear them- check it out. $19.99 at https://www.seirus.com

headbandLooking for something a little more straightforward? They also offer a UPF50 Hinged Headliner as extra protection from the sun as well as a liner and extra warmth under helmets and on bitterly cold days. There are multiple headliners and balaclavas to choose from, prices vary from $16-$35 at https://www.seirus.com

camping

ELEVENPINE has created the most comfortable shorts (available for men and women) and undergarments that are fantastic for parents on the move. Whether you are chasing the kids up and down the trails or kayaking to your campsite, these super comfy performance items will keep you feeling your best. These patented shorts can convert via side zipper from form-fitting to relaxed fit as you prefer. This makes them ideal to wear no matter the activity, from yoga to biking to camping and more, these will fast become your “go to” shorts for all your activities and travels (as well as relaxing afterward). They are also moisture wicking, so they dry quickly without giving you those delightful moisture rashes. Both the men’s and women’s shorts offer easy to access pockets, and there are multiple shorts to choose from. For women, there are also different lengths available, which is a second miracle (I repeat, pockets! Real ones, not those silly waistband “fakies”) considering how difficult it can be to find a performance short that is longer then five inches.  A style and length for everyone, there are multiple options available. Bike liners for men and women are also available. Prices vary depending on item, visit www.elevenpine.com for details and to choose.

yoga shorts for men