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Here Comes The Boom Movie Review

Here Comes The Boom – A Feel Good Movie

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Here Comes The Boom – A Feel Good Family Movie

Here Comes the Boom Movie Review

This Friday Dude’s (my husband) latest movie – Here Comes The Boom will be released nationwide. The movie stars Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler, Charice, Bas Rutten, a number of MMA superstars, and East Coast (my stepson) makes his big screen debut – look for him lugging the base in the opening sequence of the movie!

Donning my reviewers hat…

Critics are describing the movie as School Of Rock meets Rocky and I think if you liked those movies, you’ll love Here Comes the Boom. I loved the movie, but I recognize my objectivity might be a bit clouded.

Kevin James plays disenchanted school teacher – Scott Voss – who rediscovers his passion for teaching and life when he unwittingly volunteers to save his school’s music program, by becoming a losing MMA fighter.

The break out star of Boom is Voss’ coach for this adventure – Bas Rutten. This mixed martial arts legend knocks it out of the park, playing a former MMA athlete who missed his shot at UFC greatness and is now coaching at a gym. I don’t want to give anything away here… but he checked his image at the door and comitted to this role, his comedic timing is impeccable, and I predict we’ll be seeing more of him in the future.

The movie soundtrack was another highlight of the movie – I’ve had the NSFW Remix of Neil Diamond’s song Holly Holy firmly lodged in my mind since screening the film – in a good way. Fan’s of Charice won’t be disappointed as she does a great job playing one of Mr. Voss’ students, and has a chance to show off her amazing vocal talent.

Is Here Comes The Boom A family Movie?

Here Comes The Boom is rated PG, and I think that this is a great movie for families with tweens. The message of determination and pursuing your passion is the perfect take away for a feel good family movie.

If your children are younger, and involved in martial arts and contact sports like football and boxing – this is  likely an indicator this movie will be a good fit.

The language is clean, their are no sex scenes, there is not gratuitous violence… aside from the fight training and fight scenes, it’s clean.

I’ve been watching MMA for years and I thought the fight scenes were a highlight of the movie, the contact looks very legit – which again, the tweens will love and some younger children will find to intense. As a parent – you know your children best.

If you decide to go with your kids and you’ll find yourself at a movie you’ll enjoy right along with them.

A Sneak Peak from the Red Carpet of the Here Comes the Boom Premiere

I was lucky to be in New York for the premiere of Here Comes the Boom… and took a ton of pictures to share a bit of the red carpet experience with you!

Here Comes The Boom Movie Review

Salma Hayek walks the crowded red carpet.

Bas Rutten steels the show with impeccable comedic timing.Here Comes The Boom Movie Review

Salma Hayek stops for a quick photo before we watch the premiere.

Go check it out this weekend, and let me know your thoughts! Here Comes The Boom – did it bring it?

Primrose Organic Salon: Hair Salon Review

What self respecting diva doesn’t love a trip to the salon?  Even better – I love discovering a new eco conscious beauty salon.  One of my latest discoveries is Primrose Organic Salon & Boutique in Los Feliz.

PND was invited to come in for a review – given that I love nothing more than discovering new places to share with my readers – I was excited to check it out.

The salon is in trendy Loz Feliz and the mood is comfortable, cute with a retro vibe.  On walking into the salon – the first thing you might note is what is missing – the absence of a strong chemical smell that accompanies so many salons.

An Inside Peak

Primrose opened in 2009.  It was a partnership between Felicia Howe,  the salon’s head stylist and Melissa Tornay, who overseas the business and retail side of their business.  They are committed to bringing their clients the safest & best performing products coupled with outstanding services.

I was treated to a fantastic cut & color by Felicia – the salon primarily uses the Organic Color Systems Color Line, with the additional option of Davines for those who need a gluten free option.

Freshly Coifed

I’ve been wearing Felicia’s cut for a few weeks now and have found it to style beautifully.  The color added just the right amount of auburn to my brown locks – while still looking very much like it was my own color – so let’s keep the fact that it’s not our little secret!

One of the things that really impressed me about the salon was how informed Melissa is about the products she has handpicked to sell in the store.  For your product needs tell her your exact priorities and she’ll match the line to your wish list, from the ultra safe & purest organic ingredients, to the safer – but not perfect – high performing, to gluten free – she’ll break it down for you.

My purchases included a new hairspray, lip balms & homemade soaps!  I couldn’t resist.

Pricing at the salon is comparable to conventional salons with a cut & style priced at $60 and the single process color priced at $70.

I’ll be back soon – well worth the drive across town!

To book an appointment:

(323) 664-5446

4616 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA  90027

The Eatery: Restaurant Review

It’s Sunday night in NYC. We had been going nonstop for 4.5 days. I’m talking 4 hours of sleep a night NONSTOP.

We were sitting in Jyl’s of Mom It Forward room with Rachel and Breanne – Today’s Mama – who were devastated after missing their flight. Thank you JFK and the Dominican Parade. And we were hungry.

Jyl called down to the concierge to get restaurant suggestions. We said the restaurant had to be close to the hotel – The Hilton –  and we wanted some good comfort food, please.

The restaurant we were sent to was The Eatery. We happily chatted as we walked the 5 or 6 block to our dinning destination, on arrival we were relieved to find there was no wait. Our server patiently revisited our table a few times before we decided what to order.  You know… we all had to check in with whrrl, foursquare and foodspotting before we could even look at the menu.  Yeah… we’re that cool.

Contemporary Comfort Food

BTW – the atmosphere in the restaurant was perfect – right down to the “pringle shaped” light sconces that lined the wall.  Very contemporary and chic without being cold and unwelcoming.

I had been eyeballing the White Cheddar Meatloaf with Beer Batter Onion Rings until Jyl got word that they had the best Mac N Cheese in NYC, that was all I needed to push me over the edge.  Now I haven’t eaten every other mac n cheese in the city, but their “Mac and Jack” was up there.  Especially when you bite into the yummy crusty dark brown edge – which I almost neglected to do.  Heaven.

Mack And Jack

Jyl ordered the hummus – Diva note: served with whole wheat pita!  Then we shared an Organic Baby Spinach Salad with goat cheese, beats, and pickled pear.  Yum.  Jyl swears it was the best salad she’s ever eaten in her life.  I was excited that it was organic, green and would soak up some of the saturated fat from my calorie laden choice.

Jyl's Favorite Salad - Ever

Rachel ordered the Edamame – which we all ate.  They were fresh and salted just right.  Followed by the Eggless Chicken Ceasar salad – which she enjoyed in between bites of my Mack and Jack.

The one dish that fell a little flat seemed to be the Pan Seared Sea Scallop served with Asparagus Risotto & Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette.  To be fair, I didn’t try the Scallop, but did take a bite of the risotto, which just felt like it was missing something… when the others swirled it in the vinaigrette it improved the story for them… not so much for this diva.

Stuffed we skipped desert and rolled ourselves back to the hotel, where we left Jyl to run off with her husband.  Rachel and Breanne moved in with me for the night – we had a great slumber party and I’m happy to report they made their plane the next day!

I’m so glad to have spent this time with these amazing women, it was definitely a highlight.  The food was great, the conversation better and my favorite part was all the hands flying back and forth across the table – stealing nibbles… I mean bites –  and truly “sharing” our meal with one another.

This evening was the perfect closing meal for an unbelievable New York City whirlwind!

Cafe Blossom: Diva Review

While I was in New York City  for Blogher I had a chance to sit down with Neha from Greenista. We had lunch at Cafe Blossom, an organic vegan restaurant, located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Now… to be fair,  when I eat out I lean towards conventional restaurants.  When Neha suggested Cafe Blossom I threw caution to the wind and went for it.  I was after all – on my own in NYC…  and I  write a naturally focused organic and eco blog after all…

Sitting down to order was a challenge for me.  Being a vegan restaurant meant  they had no dairy – which meant no cafe latte for me and even though it was lunch, I had been packing all morning and really could have used that coffee!  I settled for Earl Gray Tea with agave and lemon… steeped in a thimble sized cup.


The Cafe Blossom Menu


Note to Cafe Blossom – if you are going to serve tea – serve it in a teapot or at least a cup that holds more than 4 oz of water.  It took us 20 minutes to get more hot water to dilute the bitter tea.

Back to the menu…. I contemplated the Black Eyed Pea Cakes – but not being a fan of the black eyed pea – that seemed risky.  I considered the Autumn Sweet Potato Rolls, but was fairly sure I would be wishing for rice noodles while I munching on their raw coconut noodles and I wondered where the rest of the dish was for the Peas and Carrots – if it’s delish – it needs to be renamed!

I ordered the mushroom soup – which never made it to my table –  and the Veggie Grain Burger with sweet potato fries.  The sandwich my have looked a little plain, but it was delicious.  I didn’t miss the cheese at all (and I always miss the cheese!) and had the server ever returned I would have loved a little more of the yummy hummus.

Overall, service was a little too laid back for my style.  No one checked on our meal, to get more water for our tea I had to get up… twice… and by the time we flagged a server to get get our bill, we didn’t even have time to see if they billed us for the mushroom soup that never arrived.

After a little trepidation about the menu, I found the food to be very enjoyable.  I just wished the staff had shown even the tiniest care in serving their clientele, on the upside if you are looking for a vegan restaurant where they will leave you to linger in NYC this may be the spot for you!

Kabana Organic Sunscreen: Sunscreen Review

Kabana Organic Fragrance Free Tinted Sunscreen SPF 22

Planning a getaway for some fun in the sun this winter? You’ll want to protect your winter white skin from the sun with sunscreen, but you’ll also want to be sure the protection doesn’t care it’s own set of concerns.

Kabana Skincare offers a selection of ultra pure sunscreens, baby care products, soap & bodywashes that offer light UV protection for everyday protection, moisturizers, lip balms and sunscreens.

To learn more about the importance of careful sunscreen selections read the Diva Guide to Safer Sunscreen.

Count the Ingredients

Kabana offer’s sunscreen in both Tinted & Untinted.  Many of the safer sunscreens contain a high amount of zinc, as does Kabana’s.  Many people don’t like the white pastiness you end up with from the zinc.  Tinted sunscreen provides a solution to this problem.  I’m very fair and the tint disappeared into my skin.  Those with darker skin my find the tinting a little pale.

Sunscreen is an important part of a skincare regime.  Not only does it prevent skin cancer, but wrinkles too.  Let’s face it, most of us are more motivated by vanity then our health.  According to the American Academy of Dermatologists – 90% of wrinkles are caused by sun!

What I love about the Kabana line is their streamline approach they take with their products.  Their Tinted Sunscreen has 8 ingredients.  Eight!  They focus on high quality, effective ingredients.  I was initially concerned that they didn’t offer a SPF 30.  Their founder,  Eric Kreider believes that an SPF 20 is all the protection we need and equates to absorbing 95% of UV, while an SPF 45 only gives you 2.8% more protection while exposing our bodies to more chemicals that typically carry a %300 increase in associated health risk along with a higher price tag.

With a Diva Total  13.7 of out of 15 points this product is: Divaliscious!

CLICK HERE for review criteria:

8 Points Skin Deep Low Hazard Rating ~ 1
2 Points for being Organic – The Tinted Sunscreen comprised of %86 organic ingredients.

1.8 Points for effectiveness Worn at the Beach in Sunny California and on a Palm Springs getaway, my fair skin didn’t get burnt. I did get a bit of extra sun on my nose – I should have reapplied after 2 hours as per the instructions.

.8 Point for Texture This product was very smooth and creamy. For a zinc based sunscreen I found it absorbed in more quickly than other products I’ve tried.

.7 Point for Fragrance The Kabana Sunscreen is unscented and doesn’t contain any fragrance to mask it’s natural scent.

.3 Points for Packaging Appearance The packaging is very sporty in appearance. Royal Blue with Bright Yellow and Green Writing accents.

.1 Points for Packaging SustainabilityThe Sunscreen is not packaged using any additional boxes, but there was no information on their site or the tube.

Overall:

With a nice texture, effective sun protection and ultra pure ingredient list, this is a great sunscreen option for your entire family.  If whiteness from the zinc bothers you, choose the tinted option.  Otherwise I didn’t notice a difference between the two offerings.

Note – Don’t forget to shake the tube well prior to application as it separates when it sits.

Child Free & La Jolla Bound: Unstable Cliffs Stay Back

Where were we – oh yeah – Dude slipped out of our room at Estancia La Jolla while I got my beauty rest.

I eventually woke up and joined Dude in the restaurant.  To my delight, while I slept, he booked me a massage at the Estancia Spa.

Before bliss time there was little time for me to eat breakfast and explore the hotel grounds, which were stunning and beautiful and from an eco perspective I enjoyed the properties use of water wise landscaping selections – it was inspiring.

The spa was fully booked save a couple of appointments – so I was surprised that facilities were delightfully serene.  It was nice to have time to linger and relish my time at the spa.  It was perfection.

After bliss time we decided to take the hike to the ocean that “Ted” suggested – remember “Ted” the bellhop?

Picture a perfect day, stunning vistas and para-sails flitting above the cliffs.  We start navigating our way down the winding steep path – if you can call it that.  “Ted” definition of this way as a “little aggressive” may have been slightly understated.

We got a third of the way down the path when we had to chose between hiking up to the bluffs or down to the water.

The way to the bluffs involved crossing a narrow ravine via wood plank and what seemed to be an impossibly steep 15′ sheer cliff on the other side of said plank.  We made our way towards the water.  It was about a third further down the path when Dude packed it in and insisted we turn around.

I was a smidge disappointed until on our way back up Dude decided we should try to scale the sheer path on the way to the bluffs.  We climbed our way all the way to the top.  We could almost touch the para-sailer’s toes once we reached the top.  I was able to torment Dude by moving within 20 fee of the cliff in an attempt to ascertain how high up we were – high.

After a few photos it was time to make our way back to the hotel, but not before I checked out the front of a sign that had caught my attention upon our arrival on the bluff (we approached from the backside) – I was dying to know what it said – it required another photo.  Thank you “Ted!”

We managed to safely make our way down the “unstable cliffs” and back to the hotel.  Our hike built up quite the appetite for our dinner plans – but for our own safety we decided not to takes  Ted’s restaurant suggestion for the evening.   We selected Azul La Jolla a Steakhouse with a stunning view of the bay.

Some of you may be dismayed, but Dude and I are big fans of the steakhouse – from a health perspective they couldn’t be much worse for you and the only redeeming thing I can say about them is that the good ones make every calorie fully worth it.  I wish all my favorites would start buying their beef from all grass fed ranchers – pretty please!  I don’t buy that the steaks won’t be as delectable.  Sorry, I digress…

Azul La Jolla did not disappoint.  We have dined at some of the best steakhouses and Azul held it’s own – with a view was second to none.

My meal started with a Cosmopolitan that was perfect,  ice chips floating in a frosty glass, delicately sweet and smooth.  I might have had more than one – it was vacation so no one was counting and no one was driving.  It was a perfect sunset dinner, we mingled with our neighbors, invited ourselves to stranger’s home for wine tasting and had a fantastic evening.

One more uninterupted night of sleep and our time at Estancia La Jolla was all to quickly finished.  A relaxing breakfast and it was time to slowly wake from our dream and return to reality.

La Jolla, our visit was divine, just what we needed and more.  “Ted,” thanks for the adventure, our trip wouldn’t have been the same without you.

We’ll be back soon.

Miessence Organics: Diva Review & Giveaway

Congratulations to the winner!

I was introduced to Miessence Organics by Erin Ely an Independent Representative who has been following PND and knew that I had to check out their line!

What I love about Miessence Skin Care products is that every ingredient in the skin care line is certified organic to food standards by the Australian Certified Organic (ACO).

They also ship all of their products fresh from the factory and suggest their product be used within 6 months to ensure you get the full benefit of the active ingredients.  Miessence also uses cold pressed formulations – this ensures that heat will not kill the active ingredients during processing.

They have a full line of body care products,  skincare and makeup that you can use with confidence – the entire product range scores from 0-2 in the Cosmetics Database.

I wish I could go to the store to try all these fantastic products, but they are only available through independent distribution.  The line prices out with  cleansers at $42, shampoo & conditioner that are $22 each, and at $40 their facial serums are a bargain.

Erin did send me their Rejuvenessence Facial Serum to try – it was  little too rich for daily use on my skin, but I adjusted to using it 2 or 3 times a week and that has been just right.  It has a rich botanical fragrance and absorbs quickly into the skin.

Lucky for us, Erin has agreed to give one lucky reader a $50 gift certificate to try Miessence for themselves!  Use it for toothpaste, sunscreen, shampoo, make up – it’s your call – but use it with confidence because this company prides themselves on being 100% organic and natural.

Win a $50 Gift Certificate for Miessence Organics

GiveAway

HOW TO ENTER:

There are a few ways you can enter, leave separate comments for each entry.

Mandatory

Become an Email Subscriber to PND using the form in the sidebar. Leave a comment with a name I can print in our newsletter if you win. Winners are only announced in our newsletter – so don’t forget to check!

  • The subscription must be confirmed. You will receive and email that you must reply to for your entry to be valid.
  • Already a confirmed Subscriber. Complete any one of the additional entries options – Leave a comment letting Diva know you’re subscriber name and the entry option you selected.
Additional Entries
  1. Go to ElyOrganics and share what you will use your $50 to buy!
  2. Stumble, Digg, Kirsty, or Technorati favorite this post. Leave a comment with your name and the link.
  3. Follow @purenaturaldiva (use link on the sidebar) and @erinely on twitter. Leave your twittername in a separate comment.
  4. Become a Fan of Pure Natural Diva and Miessence Organics on Facebook. Post this giveaway as an update, leave your FB Name or Name with a copy of your update in a separate comment. One entry for each.
  5. Tweet this giveaway. Copy and paste “WIN a $50 Gift Certificate for Miessence Organics, make-up, skin care… Diva Giveaway http://bit.ly/bhvrJ8 @purenaturaldiva #ElyOrganics”. Leave a comment and link in the comments.
  6. Write a post on your blog linking to my blog and to the – Good for two entries. Leave this comment twice so you get both entries!

This giveaway will run through midnight on May 22, 2010 PDT, with winner being announced May 24, 2010 in the PND Newsletter. Winner will be chosen using Random.org from all valid entries. Winner will have 24 hours to contact me before the contest is re-opened until the following weekend.

Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.


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Costco Line of Green Cleaners

Costco  introduced a new line of environmentally friendly cleaning products.   It is their own Kirkland Brand – and it’s packaged in 70% recycled material.

kirkland

The Line Includes:

Liquid Laundry Detergent
Dish Detergent
Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
All Purpose Cleaner

I’ve happily replaced my laundry detergent (method $12 + per 64 load ) with the Kirkland green brand, around $13 for 110 loads. – I like the fragrance, leaves the laundry with a light fresh smell – but not at all over powering.

For all purpose cleaner – I make my own for less than $1 per bottle – but I did buy a bottle to try. I’ll report back once I’ve used it.

The Automatic Dishwasher Detergent works equally well in my dishwasher as the Seventh Generation. The packaging doesn’t the little metal pour spout -which is greener, but I must confess I miss it. It won’t stop me from using this detergent.

Some reviews have said Kirkland Brand is not as green as brand like; Planet and Seventh Generation, but for those of you moving in the green direction it’s a much better alternative than conventional brands, a big step in the right direction by Costco. Not to mention being much kinder to our wallet that other green brands.

Child Free & La Jolla Bound

It has been almost 2 years since Dude and I made our last child free escape.  With two children 16 months apart and no family anywhere nearby Dude and I are on our own.

When my In-Laws planned their most recent visit – it became clear that an escape was in order.  An enjoyable trip for Dude requires it to be in range for emergency response and with only 2 days for our escape there was no point in spending it all on the road.  Fortunately, living in Los Angeles beautiful spots dot the map to the immediate north and south of us.

Secretly – I was hoping to find a property working on green initiatives and was delighted to find  numerous hotels making an effort to be more sustainable.  Destination Hotel & Resorts has a green program they call Destination Earth and there are numerous Leed certified properties popping up around the country.

In the end it was a lovely invitation from a Destination Property –  Estancia La Jolla Resort and Spa – that caught my attention and with Dude’s approval we were on our way.

Two words describe my first impression of Estancia La Jolla – understated elegance.  While the property was quite extensive – it felt intimate and uncrowded.  A perfect spot for a romantic getaway.

We drove into a small swarm of Bellhops – we of course had the most charming of the group escort us to our room – let’s call him Ted.  Little did we know this little stroll to our room would flavor our entire weekend.

We’ve stayed at a number of lovely hotels –  and honestly – I couldn’t tell you the name of a single bellhop.  Somehow I think we’ll remember “Ted” for years to come and yes his name has been changed to protect his identity or in this case we don’t want him to get into trouble at work!

As we strolled through the immaculately groomed grounds he pointed us in the direction of all that we would really need to know during our stay – namely the location of bar and spa.

The Way To Our Room

We ended up asking two innocent questions:  1.  How far of a walk is it into La Jolla?  2.  Can we walk to the Beach from the hotel?  More on this later…

Our room had everything we needed – but was on the smaller side.  If you plan on visiting the property and like to spend time in your room – you’ll want to upgrade your room selection.  What the room lacked in size it made up for in tranquility.  Our room was one of the quietest I’ve experienced in a hotel – entering from a courtyard meant no noisy halls.

 

Our Room

Courtyard Entrance: Complete with it's own Blackberry bush.

Once we settled in and unpacked we embarked on our first foray and what would become – Adventure One of our La Jolla trip…. stay tuned!

Child Free & La Jolla Bound: The Very Long Walk

Part 2 – read part one here.

Where were we?  Dude and I had just checked into Estancia La Jolla for our first weekend getaway in almost 2 years.

Mustang's & Burros

After settling in we made a beeline to the bar – Mustang’s & Burros – for what might have been the best nachos Dude and I have ever eaten! Seriously. The atmosphere couldn’t have been better – we managed to to snag prime seats in front of the gorgeous outdoor fireplace.

Best Nachos Ever!

Tip

Be sure to check out their happy hour specials – they had a cheese platter for $9 on Friday and the other offers looked appealing.

Don’t make your drink “a double” or you’ll find the priciest margarita’s I’ve seen anywhere at $22 each!

At the beginning of this story we’d asked “Ted” how far it was to walk into town?   He told us it was about 2 miles.   So… after leisurely drinks and stuffed with nachos we decided a walk into town for dinner.

It was a perfect night for a walk – the sun was setting – the conversation easy.  Wild nasturtiums were everywhere –  for some reason this fascinated me.  About an hour into our “2 mile walk” we started noticing that we weren’t even close to town … as a matter of fact we can see “town” on the other side of the bay.

Wild Nasturtiums... Everywhere.

Our relaxing evening stroll to dinner – over 2 hours long.  For some reason I found myself humming the Gilligan Island theme song.  I was grateful for the practical flats I’d chosen to wear yet wished they were sneakers and secretly wondered if “Ted” had known we were going to order nachos that night and intentionally underestimated the mileage in consideration of my waistline.

After wandering through town looking at restaurants we settled on Vigilucci’s an Italian Restaurant with a large outdoor patio, great atmosphere, live music and a stunning view.

I wish I could say the food was equally impressive – both Dude and I were a little disappointed.  I like garlic, but my pasta had enough to keep away more than a few vampires and Dude’s meat had to go back for a little extra time.  The restaurant wasn’t the only one struggling.  I somehow managed to send a shrimp tail flying across the room –  if anyone noticed they didn’t say a word.

We focused on enjoying our wine – which was chosen because the Vineyard and Lil Diva share a name and the winery was local.

We made our way back to the hotel, marveling the entire taxi ride at just how far we had walked.  We finished the evening with another glass of wine at Mustangs & Burros before turning in for the night.

I don’t have to tell you how nice it was not to be woken the next morning by children crawling on top of us for the first time in forever!

While I caught a few extra zzzz’s Dude went off to read the paper, and have an early breakfast.

Stay tuned for our hike to the beach… “Ted’s” way.