Friday, December 19, 2014

My Holiday Foodie Picks - Cookbook, Music & Movies!

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Just in case you've missed my Instagram post - these are my most favorite foodie gifts this year!  I just love and recommend each one for different reasons and needs.  Enjoy!


The Pollan Family Table  by the Pollan Family is simply Sunday dinner with the family, perfection - the whole book feels like home and I just love it! (please don't miss the Grande Marnier  Roasted Chicken!)

My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz is a what I read when I can't travel to Paris!  I enjoy the stories just as much as the recipes.  And if you follow me on Instagram, THIS is where ever-so-loved Sardine Dip is from!  This alone is worth the price of the book.

The Blender Girl by Tess Masters has outstanding gluten free and vegan recipes.  Her knowledge of food information is stellar (you have no idea how much it takes to impress me) I have pages folded and notes written all over this one.  Happy blending!

Comfort Food is Jamie Oliver's new cookbook and it does not disappoint!  These recipes are for weekend, get-togethers and relaxing on a cold winters day.  And of course Jamie's stories make the entire thing a must-read - love!


TOMS Roasted Coffee is a new one for me.  I just bought a couple weeks ago at my husband's suggestion and I've been hooked every since!  My favorite so far is the Carpe Diem whole beans (geez, I'm a coffee snob) however, every thing I have bought has been superb!  Grab a bag for yourself for Christmas morning!

Chef Movie AND Soundtrack are not to be missed!  Jon Favreau's new movie is my favorite foodie movie...ever!  You simply must-see it.  And when you do see it, you'll know exactly why you simply must must must have the soundtrack too.   I bought on Amazon before it even came out on Blu-Ray and we shall not even discuss exactly how many times I have watched it.  I crave a Cubano Sandwich every single time. Ahhh....

And last but certainly not least - The Hundred-Foot Journey.  A movie for the senses - passion, family, letting go and coming home, make this quite possibly one of the best movies - EVER.  Please don't miss it!


So here they are. What do you think?  Do you have or have seen any of these suggestions?  They are my most favorites and I use them every single week, if not daily.  There are no affiliate links on this page, nor is this a sponsored post.  I highly recommend for gifts and have already bought each of these for my own gift giving!  After you buy your gifts, buy or rent yourself these because you deserve it too!

All of the books have great prices on Amazon! (no, I don't get paid for saying that)

Happy and Healthy Holidays, Lovelies!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jake & Neverland Pirates: Battle for the Book Comes to DVD! #DisneyJunior

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Join Jake and his friends as they battle Captain Hook to save Wendy’s storybook and the story of Peter Pan! Embark on a magical adventure with Jake and Captain Hook in JAKE AND THE NEVERLAND PIRATES: BATTLE FOR THE BOOK on Disney DVD January 6th! 


This DVD is value packed with four additional episodes and a FREE exclusive checker board bandana with gold coins fit for any aspiring young pirate!


This is not a sponsored post. Just fun! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey - An Adventure Not To Be Missed!

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This is a sponsored post (see below)


I'm sure it comes to no surprise that  The Hundred-Foot Journey is my kind of movie - passion and love for food is everything to me.  As I watched The Hundred-Foot Journey this weekend I realized this is not just a movie, it is an experience for the senses!  Easily one of the best movies I've ever seen and it goes far beyond food - family, love, letting go, coming home and everything in-between.  The scenery and the market alone are reasons to watch.  Whether you have a passion for food (and in my opinion, if you don't have a passion for food...you're eating the wrong foods) or not The Hundred-Foot Journey is for everyone!  My husband and teens loved it! (little one was in bed)  


Sometimes brakes break for a reason. - The Hundred-Foot Journey

If this is what Oprah and Steven Spielberg create together, I truly cannot wait to see what is next!

The movie is about 122 minutes and the blu-ray has extra features


This is not a sponsored post.  I did receive a copy of the movie for review purposes.  Opinions are my own and this is a movie I would absolutely buy (actually bought as a gift for Christmas!) I've already watched it twice!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Easy Chocolate Covered Pretzels!

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The holidays are an amazing and magical time!  They are also a crazy hectic time when moms tend to be busier than ever!  Making these super easy and delicious snacks with your kids, gives you time to relax together.   They are healthier than store bought and oh, the fun you will have!  Grab a few ingredients and have fun and join in with your kids.  Don't forget the holiday music.  We like them so much, we're making them for friends and neighbors. (if you are my neighbor....surprise!)

If you follow little island studios often, you already know I am very careful about the foods I give my family and I just like to make these instead of buying them in the market, where the ingredient list seems to be a mile long.


Ingredients:

Spelt Mini Pretzels - Newman's Own Organics 
(only a few ingredients & NO canola oil, make these our favorite pretzels)

Enjoy Life Chocolate - you choose which variety, we use the tiny morsels
 (gluten, allergen and GMO free - we love it)

fleur de sol sea salt (if you don't have any - pink Himalayan sea salt is perfectly fine)

Candy Canes - we found fabulous organic at a great price 
(MOMs Organic Market and Whole Foods Market)


Place a couple candy canes in a parchment or plastic baggy and let your little one grab his handy dandy hammer from his Hape tool set (or whatever you happen to have) and give this job to him/her!  Kids love it and it's the most fun!


Warm the chocolate in a small saucepan or butter warmer

Place a small bowl of your sea salt and a bowl of the smashed candy canes on table

Put Pretzels in a bowl on table

Place the melted chocolate on the table and remind little ones the pan is still warm!

Let them dip each pretzel in the chocolate and then the candy canes or sea salt. 

Or just keep the chocolate plain.

Place on parchment and when pan is full place in fridge until chocolate hardens

Remove from fridge and place in bowls or little treat bags.

All of it is spectacular and super easy! 

Have fun and enjoy together! 


For a variety - dip kiwi, apple or orange slices.  Strawberries are great.

Pretzel sticks for New Years celebrations are spectacular just replace the candy canes with sprinkles!

Happy Holidays! 


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Some of Our Favorite Holiday Picture Books!

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Christmas is here and all the magic that comes with it!  Read everyday to your little ones to build on that magic and for memories money cannot buy!  These are just a few of our favorites:

Just A Snowy Day by Mercer Mayer

Where Teddy Bears Come From by Mark Burgess
absolutely delightful story of not the big bad wolf, as he searches for a teddy bear to fall asleep with.

The Mouse Who Ate the Moon by Petr Horacek 
Little Mouse just loves the moon and is concerned she has eaten it one day.  Very sweet and the art is warm and lovely!

Yes, I know Peppa Pig is a TV show (which we apparently missed and now stream old episodes) but the stories are so much fun, as is the art!

WinterFrost  by Michelle Houts
(please don't miss this one, read aloud to your kids a little bit every night)  WinterFrost has become our new tradition of reading a bit every night up until Christmas, absolutely love this!

And Then Came Christmas by Tom Brenner
Reminds me of being a kid - traditions, decorating, family fun and happiness - a perfect Christmas story!

Pip and Posy The Snowy Day by Axel Scheffler 
We are huge Pip and Posy fans, the perfect series for toddlers!

Just Right for Christmas  by Birdie Black
Sweet tale of giving!
  
Toys Galore by Peter Stain with art by Bob Staake
This one is just plain fun!


This is not a sponsored post.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey Delicious Recipes! #100FootJourney

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THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY has cooked its way onto Blu-ray and Digital HD and we wanted to celebrate by sending you these fantastic dishes inspired from the hit film that you can make at home! Recipes include “Herbs de Provence-Crusted Turkey” and “Kheewa: Indian Ground Beef with Peas.” Well, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start cooking!  And if you are looking for a Christmas gift for your favorite foodie...this is IT!

  Click Communications: BLOGGER BUTTONS &emdash;
Have you seen the movie yet?  A must see for everyone who eats!  Enjoy!



Check out Chef Anil Sharma, the Indian Chef Consultant for The Hundred-Foot Journey.



If you follow little island studios, you just know this is our kind of movie!  This is not a sponsored post.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's Canon Season At Best Buy! #CanonatBestBuy #HintingSeason #spon

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Today's post is sponsored by Best Buy! 


Digital imaging has come a long way and a really great camera like, Canon, can make all-the-difference in social media and of course, capturing your kid's adventures on film!  I would know, I have worked with not-so-great cameras and really spectacular ones - I assure you, it makes all the difference!  This Canon EOS Rebel T5i is sitting at the top of my wish list.  Seriously.  A friend has an earlier version and I've gotten to use it and couldn't be more pleased!  This upgraded version is even better and has stellar reviews from my photographer lovelies.


Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy  -  offer valid 12/7-12/20


Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras to capture your holiday memories. The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of the best-selling DSLRs. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression.

•      Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video  

•      Continuous autofocus while taking HD video

•      Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure         vivid, crystal-clear images.

•      The 3" vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.


Right now - Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more. *offer valid 12/7-12/20






I am pleased to be a part of the Best Buy blogging team.  Opinions are my own!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Something For Everyone At Best Buy for the Holidays! #HintingSeason #spon

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Today's post is sponsored by Best Buy! 

Best Buy with expert service and unbeatable prices makes it a one-stop holiday for everyone on your list!  These are some of the top gifts are on everyones holiday list this year - gaming, music and practical - something for everyone! 
Xbox One is the place for games!   Xbox One takes gaming to a whole new level with exclusive games like Halo, Sunset Overdrive and the biggest blockbusters - Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty, Skylanders and so much more!  In addition to being a great gaming console, Xbox One connects consumers unlike any other device.  Xbox One enables access to the latest TV shows and movies through your favorite appsWith Xbox One all of your media is at your fingertips when you want it.


JBL has the perfect gift ideas for your music lovers! 

JBL Charge 2- Between the twin passive radiators for deep bass, the massive 6000mAh battery and the hands-free conference speakerphone the key benefit is the Bluetooth Social Mode which allows up to three different users to take their turns to play their own playlists on a single speaker.


JBL Flip 2- Aside from the dual performance-tuned JBL drivers and a built-in bass port, the key benefit of the JBL Flip 2 is the SoundClear echo and noise cancellation combined with the state-of the art microphone system to pick up calls on the speaker.
JBL Reflect Earbud headphones-  Sweat proof ergonomic design.  With a 5 hour rechargeable battery and a reach of about 40 feet, the JBL Reflect BT’s key benefit is the design of the ergonomic eartips along with the built-in magnets which keep your buds on standby without loose cables.

Garmin and TomTom - you might want to open these early for holiday travel! 


o   5.0” display
o   Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates1
o   Lane assist with junction view
o   Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time
o   Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest
o   Spoken turn-by-turn directions


o   5.0” display
o   Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates1
o   Lane assist with junction view
o   Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time
o   Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest
o   Spoken turn-by-turn directions




Featuring bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, traffic and weather updates.  Lane assist, Lifetime traffic and map updates.   Voice Recognition Technology.  



  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic: Drive with TomTom Traffic for the lifetime of your device
  • Lifetime Maps (US, Canada, Mexico): Always drive with the latest map
  • 3D Maps. See buildings and landmarks in stunning 3D
  • 5" touchscreen with advanced lane guidance




I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

Move It, Move It for Holiday Happiness! #StreamTeam #spon

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We are so very pleased to be a part of the Netflix StreamTeam!

Get ready to dance -- on December 19th, the first five episodes of All Hail King Julien, a totally original, totally hilarious and totally insane new series, will arrive on Netflix. A favorite character from the Madagascar franchise, King Julien will take on the jungle's craziest adventures in the new comedy series, along with his loyal sidekicks Maurice and Mort plus a whole new cast of colorful animals.


I'm sorry, isn't this everyone's favorite part of the movie?  Anyone else just break out spontaneously in Move It, Move It dance moves?  Just me?  King Julian completely makes the movie and we're thrilled he has his own show!  

If you can't wait until the All Hail King Jullian Netflix Original - check out Merry Madagascar, Madly Madagascar and Madagascar Pengiuns! We have already watched Merry Mdagascar and the entire family laughs out loud! (yes, even the teens!)















For moms and dads, check out Scrooged with Bill Murray! 

Try some New Year's Eve Mocktails - Sparkling Apple Cider and Cookie Sticks!  

Happy Holidays, Lovelies!



I am pleased to be a part of Netflix's StreamTeam!  Opinions are my own and I have happily been a Netflix subscriber for years! (and they keep getting better and better...much like George Clooney!)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Best Buy, Cameras & Holiday Moments! #CamerasatBestBuy #HintingSeason

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Today's post is sponsored by Best Buy! 

It is the holidays and there is no better time for picture taking - kids, parties, festivities and all the magic that comes with it - isn't something you want to miss by blurring and unresponsive cameras!  Here are some fabulous new cameras at Best Buy for the holiday season - Happy Shooting!


·         A DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi so you can capture high quality photos and share them instantly
·         This Nikon D5300 DSLR camera comes with an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens that enables you to capture sharp photos and video footage. Optical image stabilization helps prevent blurring to ensure image clarity
·         Also available in red or gray


·         A digital camera that allows you to shoot, share, and use Android Apps
·         This Samsung Galaxy 2 digital camera's 16.3-megapixel, 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor allows you to capture sharp images and high-definition video footage. The 4.8" touch screen simplifies operation, and built-in Wi-Fi makes sharing stored files easy.



Sony α6000 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera 

·         A compact system camera with the World’s Fastest Autofocus
·         This Sony Alpha A6000 features a 24.3-megapixel, Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor that makes it easy to shoot scenes in stunning clarity. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you share stored content across devices.
·         Also available in White or silver



Never Miss A Moment!

I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free