We made the chocolate pops at home in our kitchen using everything that was included in the kits: white and dark chocolate for the outside of the pops, two types of brigadeiro (Brazilian truffle filling) one in dark chocolate and the other pumpkin spice; popsicle sticks; and fun toppings including bright sprinkles, googly eyes and mini marshmallows.
We heated and tempered the chocolate before filling the popsicle mold shell, which is included in the kit. The kids decided to make two vanilla, one chocolate, and one marble pop.
We decorated them with the toppings and placed the pops in the freezer for 30 minutes to set. Then they were ready to eat.
This was a fun and tasty activity for the kids and it wasn’t very messy. A win-win! Order the pops by October 26 so you can make them for Halloween.
The exhibit, which focuses on the global impact of snow on climate and human culture, has 12 interactive learning opportunities.
Ours faves were a digital wall where you can “catch” crystals during different kinds of snowstorms; watching marbles fall down a mountain comparing the impact of rain versus snow and the impact that water has on climate at different times; solving a matching puzzle of snow crystals; making our own paper snowflakes; and building (and knocking over) a snowman.
It’s Mental Health Awareness month. During the pandemic, there’s been a growing demand for mental health services including telehealth — virtual appointments via technology including video, phones and apps. My Mediaplanet article explains the benefits of this high tech approach to mental health.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Even before the pandemic, getting access to good mental healthcare in a timely manner could be really challenging,” says Dr. Shore, noting patients can wait six to 12 weeks for their first appointment, making it tough for those who want help right away.
Factors impacting the ability to get an appointment can include if the provider has availability, if they’re accepting new patients, or if insurance covers the provider’s services.
Telemedicine may help reduce some patients’ barriers to care, including lack of transportation, convenience if they can’t take time off from work, or if they have family responsibilities.
Model Chrissy Teigen shared she recently had eyebrow transplant surgery. In an Instagram post, she explained she’s tired of wearing makeup to fill in her eyebrows. For her eyebrow transplant surgery, her surgeon Dr. Jason Diamond transplanted hairs from the back of her head to her brow area.
Want to know what’s involved in hair restoration?
I interviewed International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) president Dr. Paul McAndrews for this Mediaplanet article. He explains how the procedure works and questions patients should ask.
According to a 2019 practice census survey, ISHRS members treated more men than women – 84.2% men, compared to 15.8% women – for surgical hair restoration procedures. Over half of all surgical patients worldwide were ages 30 to 49 years old.
Hair transplant surgery helps restore naturally growing hair by surgically taking hair from the sides or back of the scalp and moving it to areas that are thinning or bald. Surgical hair transplants are permanent and can be used on the scalp, as well as eyelashes, eyebrows, and other facial or body hair.
My sons and I attended the media preview of “Ron’s Gone Wrong” – an animated comedy adventure by 20th Century Studios and Locksmith Animation’s first theatrical release – about a socially awkward 7th grader, Barney Pudowski. The boy becomes friends with a B*Bot – a personal robot that walks, talks and is supposed to keep him digitally connected.
The B*Bot, short for Bubble Bot, was created by a company named Bubble, which seems to be a mix of Apple and Facebook. While the device is a digital friend, it’s actually tracking the user’s preferences and knows that person’s private information. While Bubble sees this as a business opportunity for marketing and sales, kids just see it as fun, and a chance to make friends.
“Best Friend out of the Box”
When we left the theater, my eight-year-old told me he would love a B*Bot. On some level, I think we would all like a personal robot. The B*Bot is billed as “Best Friend out of the Box.” It’s loyal to one person, it’s owner/user. Think about it, with a personalized robot, you always have a friend: someone to agree with you, someone who likes what you like and someone who will always do what do you want to do.
But even a personalized robot might not be all it seems. All of the kids in Barney’s school have one of these robots. He doesn’t have one and consequently he always feels left out. We see him struggling at recess to make a friend while his classmates are having fun with others and everyone’s robots too.
Barney, voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer, is desperate for a B*Bot, since it seems like a friendly sidekick. His dad and grandmother realize it’s all he wants so they scrape together money but there’s a long waiting list. All they can buy is a back-alley battered bot that is scratched. They didn’t realize it was malfunctioning too.
When Barney realizes his bot is damaged, he’s disappointed but he perseveres because a battered bot is better than none at all, or so he thinks. It turns out his robot, serial number R0NB1NT5CAT5CO, aka Ron, doesn’t know how to be an instant friend and it has different settings than a typical model. Comedian Zach Galifianakis is fun in this role as Ron.
Soon Barney finds out the malfunctioning robot can get violent. He’s amazed as Ron beats up the bully, a YouTuber-type who’s always picking on Barney. The bully’s live stream shows the whole incident and soon the hunt is on for Barney and Ron – since the Bubble team is concerned that a violent robot would be bad for business.
By then, Barney has been teaching Ron how to be a friend. The two have fun, even laughing and playing outdoors. They genuinely like each other and start to become real friends.
Meanwhile we see how these devices, which are always connected, can livestream users’ activities which can embarrass them. For example, a stunt goes awry and we see Barney’s classmate, a girl he’s known since kindergarten, get humiliated on camera.
Technology isn’t all bad though. This movie was made during the pandemic and every Friday, the the “Ron’s Gone Wrong” crew would get together on Zoom for their weekly production status meeting.
Ron is unlike other B*Bots. The B*Bot’s creator, Marc Wydell (voiced by Justice Smith) – a young developer a lot like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – never programmed the device to laugh. He longed for friendship as a kid and seems to embrace this unexpected malfunction. Mark says his design was created for the purity of having a friend. But like real life social media, the original intent seems to get lost in a sea of sales and business opportunity.
The other B*Bot executive, Andrew Morris (portrayed by Rob Delaney) – a Steve Jobs-like character – emerges as the bad guy, who’s more concerned about profiting off the product, than customer satisfaction.
Andrew is the one who wants to literally crush the malfunctioning bot. But Barney and his real-life friends band together to protect Ron and restore their friendship. After all, they’ve all known each other since kindergarten and even though they’re doing different things now, they have a common foundation of friendship.
The movie is an eye-opener about how as a society, we’re all so focused on having the latest device, and at the same time, ignoring real-life relationships. It’s a good remind for adults and kids to look beyond screen time for interaction.
“Ron’s Gone Wrong” opens nationwide October 22, 2021.
Thrive sent me three limited edition shades of their brilliant eye brightener: Tara, a rose mauve shimmer, Racquel, a soft silver shimmer and Betty, a sky blue shimmer. These colors are inspired by a tropical beach filled with bright skies and a great sunset.
I tried all three colors including blending the Betty and Racquel. I really like how these shades make your eyes pop with color and how long last!
Did you know? Thrive Causemetics products are 100% vegan, cruelty-free and consciously formulated without parabens, phthalates, sulfates and fragrance. #gifted
While I was honored to be nominated for “Outstanding Achievement for Special Events Coverage” of last year’s virtual show, I did not receive an Emmy Award this year. However, I had so much fun on the pre-show Zoom and participating in the virtual awards.
Then on Saturday we distributed the statues at Viejas Casino and Resort. A photographer snapped red carpet pictures and a videographer recorded acceptance speeches. We also enjoyed a little swag – check out the delicious popcorn gifted by Popped Gourmet Popcorn.