Paint-Sation Easel Set from Goliath Review

In my constant searching for great and unique crafts to do with my nieces, and to win and retain the title of “Best Auntie,” the Paint-Sation easel set from Goliath is in my top picks.

Paint-Sation Easel Set Review

Paint-Sation Easel Set Review

Not quite knowing what I was getting into, I called my nieces over to paint and dumped the contents of the Paint-Sation easel set onto the hardwood floor.

There weren’t many parts and setup was intuitive and painless. Apart from deciding which brush which child got to use (thankfully the set came with two!) and who got to paint upright on the easel and who got to paint on the floor, we were off and painting within a few minutes.

My biggest struggle was figuring out how the easel could stand best as the plastic pieces snap together just so and fell over a few times before I got it sturdy enough to paint on. In truth I wasn’t snapping it together firmly enough so it was a bit floppy. Once I sorted that out we were off to the races.

No-Spill Paint

The Paint-Sation easel set comes with three paint pods: red, yellow, blue. The girls thought this was more than enough and happily set to mixing everything together as soon as possible. While I was a bit sad for the primary colours, I was more excited to see how the no-spill paint claim held up. Without hovering TOO much I let the girls tip and tumble the paint pods around.

In truth, because the pods are so low to the ground there was never a time they were in danger of tipping so after a while I snapped the pods into place on the easel itself to see what happened. Nothing. The paint stayed put, just like they said it would. It was cool.

The set also comes with an initial paper supply, which I thought was a great addition and the girls thought was a painting challenge. Although they cranked out painting after painting, we didn’t get through the provided paper. But auntie has a lot of new art for her walls all the same.

Paint-Sation Easel Set by Goliath Product Description

Get ready to create with Paint-Sation! Each of the self-contained paint pods in the set includes 1.4 ounces of paint. Simply touch your brush along the specially-designed bristles, and you’re ready to paint. If you turn the pod upside-down, the paint won’t drip out! Moms and kids will agree—this paint is Paintsation-al.

In my constant searching for great and unique crafts to do with my nieces, the Paint-Sation easel set from Goliath is in my top picks.

Find the Paint-Sation easel set on Amazon.

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Letter from Masanjia [movie review]

Letter from Masanjia is a powerful documentary about an American who woman finds a letter from a prisoner in a Chinese labour camp in a package from a Halloween decoration. Her discovery sets off a chain reaction, which ends up shutting down the labour camp system in China.

Letter From Masanjia

Letter from Masanjia Social Justice Documentary

Growing up near the ocean, I often imagined discovering a washed-up message in a bottle. But I didn’t ever think the letter would be from someone imprisoned in a labour camp because of his religious beliefs.

The letter Julie Keith discovers in a Made-in-China tombstone decoration was from political prisoner Sun Yi. Held in China’s Masanjia labour camp, Sun Yi’s letter describes how he and the other prisoners are subjected to torture and brainwashing because of their belief in Falun Gong. After verifying the letter and the camp are legitimate, Julie Keith works to find someone who would listen. After several stalled attempts, Sun Yi’s story goes viral.

about falun gong

Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline consisting of meditation and gentle exercises. Its core values are truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. In 1999, when the Chinese Communist Party outlawed Falun Gong, the goal was to eradicate the religion. Human rights groups estimate, at minimum, tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been sent to detention or worse. 

About the filming

Canadian filmmaker Leon Lee learned about Sun Yi when the letter went viral. Known as a Chinese dissident for his human rights work, Leon Lee reached out to his personal network of activists and dissidents in China to find the letter-writer. Three years into his search, the two connected. By this time, Sun Yi was released from the labour camp and eager for his story to reach a wider audience. The two formed a partnership and began filming.

Much of the documentary footage is taken by Sun Yi who learned how to use camera equipment over Skype from Leon Lee. For more than a year, Sun Yi films day-to-day life as a human rights defender in secret on a DSLR and iPhone. After shooting, he compressed and uploaded the footage to an encrypted site. Here, Leon Lee could retrieve the footage from across the Chinese firewall.

This is an incredible story of persecution, courage in the face of intense pressure and commitment to do the right thing no matter the personal cost.

Letter from Masanjia Synopsis

A woman in Oregon discovers an SOS note stashed in a box of Halloween decorations from Kmart. Her story goes viral and leads to the closure of China’s barbaric labour camps. News travels through China’s firewall and reaches the letter-writer, Sun Yi. A former Chinese prisoner who had been jailed for his beliefs, he now fears for his life and his family’s safety. Despite that, he’s determined to expose China’s human rights violations, whatever the cost.

In Letter from Masanjia, Sun Yi teams up with Peabody Award-winning director Leon Lee and takes you inside China’s terrifying police state through the eyes of a political prisoner. He uses hidden cameras to capture details of his torturous past while authorities remain hot on his heels. Letter from Masanjia reveals how the brave actions of a be-speckled engineer in China and a mom in the US led to major changes on the other side of the world.

OFFICIAL Trailer

On December 4, 2018, Letter from Masanjia was released by Gravitas Ventures and is available on iTunes, Amazon, Blu-Ray Disc, DVD, Tugg and Google Play.

Letter from Masanjia is a powerful documentary about an American woman who finds a letter from a prisoner in a Chinese labour camp in a Halloween decoration.

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The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles: A Love Story

The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles answers the heartbreaking question no one wants to ask: How do you carry on after your soulmate dies?

The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles Review Header

I suppose no one really knows how they’ll respond to a loved one’s death until it happens. If author Laura Fahrenthold’s experience is an indication, the process of grief isn’t linear.

Over a four year period, The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles takes readers on a cross-country journey of escape, self-discovery and letting go. It documents a family wrestling with losing their patriarch and fighting to continue living, despite having no idea what to do next.

For this family, an impromptu RV purchase becomes their salvation. It helped them deal with their loss in their own way. Their various summer road trips take them around North America, into the great outdoors and include many encounters with interesting people. Their experiences range from gut-wrenching sorrow to hilarious awkwardness and everything in between.

…the most effective tragedies are punctuated by moments of comic relief, giving people a chance to recuperate emotionally before the next painful blow hits.

Released June 26, 2018, The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles: A Love Story is available at many outlets including Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Hudson Booksellers, Indiebound, Indigo, Penguin Random House and Walmart.


The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles answers the heartbreaking question no one wants to ask, How do you carry on after your soulmate dies?

The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles: A Love Story synopsis

When Bloomberg journalist Mark Pittman suddenly died, his widow spent four summers driving 31,152 miles searching for answers.

In her fearless memoir, The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles: A Love Story, author Laura Fahrenthold presents a moving portrait of marriage, motherhood and mourning as she captains a 1993 RV sprinkling her husband’s ashes with their two young daughters and a stray dog in an epic quest for healing and understanding. Filled with insight and wit from a career in journalism, the story captures the family’s adventures and misadventures, her deeply-layered love story, and her hilarious slice-of-life dispatches where the pink steering wheel becomes her spiritual GPS.

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KiiPix Review | Smartphone Photo Printer

Ever wonder how to print photos from your smartphone? KiiPix from TOMY offers a convenient solution to print photos from your mobile in minutes.

KiiPix Review

I’ve seen those cute modern-day Polaroids at big celebrations but I’ve never seen one that could print photos from your phone. What a modern-day convenience! KiiPix Smartphone Picture Printer offers an affordable, portable solution (is there any other kind?) allowing users to print photos in minutes. And I got one in pink!

The smartphone printer itself looks like a mini camera and in a way it is, you start by loading the film (I used Fujifilm Instax Mini Rainbow Film for this review) into the KiiPix, then set up the smartphone station. You place your phone on top of the KiiPix and hit the shutter, essentially taking a photo of a photo. Then you crank the knob a few times and a little instant photo pops out! A few minutes of developing later and you have a physical photo that came off of your smartphone. Voila

When I first set the contraption up I was quite nervous I was doing it wrong so I put together a little demonstration should anyone else have the same fear. It’s easy. You’ve got this. And your kids are going to love it.

The photo printer/camera itself runs you about $50. I grabbed mine from ToysRUs and it arrived a few days later—shipping included.

I think this is a fun device and can’t wait to set up my memory wall with all my new photos.


Official KiiPix Smartphone Printer description

  • SMARTPHONE PRINTER: Instantly print favorite photos from your smartphone. It’s easy to use: Place film, place phone, and print!
  • PORTABLE PHOTO PRINTER: No batteries or cords required. Take it anywhere! It’s compact and folds flat for easy travel.
  • PHOTO SCANNER: Add fun filters or just get rid of the red-eye and then use KiiPix to scan those photos right to the film. You can easily print your pictures to hold on to!
  • NO INSTANT CAMERA NEEDED: The KiiPix only requires FUJIFILM Instax mini film (sold separately) and your phone to provide you with fun prints.
  • THE BEST PICTURES: For the best pictures, make sure your screen lock is on and that you turn the phone’s brightness all the way up.
  • THE PERFECT SIZE: The credit-card size pictures produced by the photo printer are the perfect size for wallets. Photo Size: 3.4 in. x 2.1 in. and Image Size: 2.4 in. x 1.8 in.

Ever wonder how to print photos from your smartphone? KiiPix from TOMY offers a convenient solution to print photos from your mobile in minutes.

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Get the Hell Past It by Sarah Beth Moore

Ready for more tough love from Sarah Beth Moore? Because it’s time to Get the Hell Past It and move on with your creative career.

Get the Hell Past It Book Review

If you’ve been on the three-part journey slash stern talking-to that is Moore’s Weenie-Proofing the Artistic Brain series then you know as well as I do there is a time to be precious and a time to pull up your socks and get to work.

And if you’re wondering which side of the fence Get the Hell Past It falls on…do I really need to answer that?

This 10-chapter read is filled with personal anecdotes, helpful advice and meaningful exercises intended to help us creatives who have failed get up out of the fetal position and start kicking ass and taking names, aka moving past failure.

While reading Get the Hell Past It I jotted some thoughts and/or takeaways

  • Purpose—everyone wants one, does everyone have a purpose? Is “purpose” a big, overarching theme like in a book?
  • Failure—failing does not mean YOU are a failure
  • Freelancing—there’s always the question of how to get started (start). But how?

If you practice discipline and work towards your goal every day, you can’t help but reach success. (72)


Get the Hell Past It: How to Recover from Failure with Grace, Dignity and Possibly Some Cash (Weenie-Proofing the Artistic Brain Book 3) synopsis

What if you could stop the bathtub crying and turn failure into your most powerful weapon?

Let’s be honest. You hate to fail. You wish it would stop.

Well, it won’t.

But you CAN stop being blindsided by it. You can tell it to shove off.

You can win the day—right after losing it.

Yep, it’s a thing. And Get the Hell Past It: How to Recover from Failure with Grace, Dignity and Possibly Some Cash is here to show you how it’s done.

Learn secrets such as:

  • Why the greats actually appreciate failure…and aren’t just lying
  • How to process flubs
  • Why your brain is your greatest enemy…and your greatest tool
  • When to try again (hint: soon!)
  • How to get the support you need from other people and from yourself

…and how your journey can be every bit as cool as a YA hero’s. Wait, did we just go there?

Oh, yes, my friend. We did.

Truth is, failure really and truly can become your greatest asset, if you know how to access it.

Pick up this quick tutorial on changing your mindset FOREVER today.

Seriously, let go of the pain and shame, and start rocking at life INSTANTLY. Get the book NOW!

Ready for more tough love from Sarah Beth Moore? Because it's time to Get the Hell Past It and move on with your creative career.

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