YouTube Kids Luncheon at MILK Studios!

Last week I was invited to join YouTube at MILK Studios for an introductory lunch celebrating YouTube’s debut of YouTube Kids! The YouTube Kids app is designed with families in mind – an app designed from the ground up for kids. The app makes it safer and easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore, and is available for free on Google Play and the App Store in the U.S.

YouTube Kids App, NYC Lunch at MILK Studios | nyctalon.comYouTube Kids App, NYC Lunch at MILK Studios | nyctalon.com

My sister and I joined YouTube and other families to celebrate (and try out) the new app. My sister was so excited – we’re massive YouTube users (who isn’t?). Naturally, as a family with more than one blogger, media consumption is relatively high and for years safety on the internet has been a prominent topic of conversation for my family. So when I first found out about YouTube kids I was so glad – finally, a space that’s safe but not exclusionary! It means that your kids still have access to excellent YouTube content minus the content inappropriate for their age!

YouTube Kids App, NYC Lunch at MILK Studios | nyctalon.comYouTube Kids App, NYC Lunch

Between YouTube Cakepops and other treats, I was shown how the YouTube Kids app allows you to even set time limits on the app – and how the app notifies the user that the time allowance is running down by playing soft bedtime music. Pretty darn cool!

YouTube Kids App, NYC Lunch at MILK Studios | nyctalon.com

Here’s a quick rundown of the YouTube Kids parental controls:

Parental controls

We realize every family is different, so we’ve built options into the app that help you control the experience for your kids:

Timer: Let the app be the bad guy with a built-in timer that lets you limit kids’ screen time. The app alerts your child when the session is over, so you don’t have to. (You’re welcome. ;) )

Sound settings: Sometimes you need a little peace and quiet! You have an option to turn off background music and sound effects, so your kids can keep watching while you catch a breather.

Search settings: If you’d rather limit your children to just the pre-selected videos available on the home screen, you can turn off search.

Product feedback: Our goal is to improve YouTube Kids all the time, so we’ve included a space for you to give us your feedback.

We had such a great time, we loved seeing Elmo & Cookie Monster (I don’t care how old you get – Elmo & Cookie Monster are the icons of childhood!), and it was so lovely of YouTube to have us!

YouTube Kids App, NYC Lunch at MILK Studios | nyctalon.com

YouTube Kids is available for free here on Google Play and the App Store, and will soon be available on Kurio and nabi kids’ tablets!

Oz The Great and Powerful : March 8th!

Oz The Great and Powerful is one movie that I’m ridiculously excited for!  Oscar Diggs (played by James Franco) is a small time circus musician with questionable ethics. When Oscar is hurled into the Land of Oz, his dreams of fame and fortune are extinguished as he is drawn into the epic problems that face the people of Oz. The witches – played by Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz (one of my all-time favorite actresses) are not convinced that Oscar is the wizard everyone thinks he is, and Oscar must utilize his magical arts, ingenuity, and wizardry to become a better man, and The Wizard of Oz!

First of all, I’m in love with the casting done on this film – I absolutely love Rachel Weisz, and can’t wait to see James Franco as Oscar! Plus the costumes and design of the film looks breathtaking. While Oz The Great and Powerful doesn’t hit theatres until March 8th, I’ve included two of the movies posters (one above, and one beneath) and the trailer for your viewing pleasure!

As excited as I am??? Check out the movie site, facebook, and twitter to stay on top of new updates and exclusive content!!!

Feature Film Friday: Jaws (1975)

I love old school movies. My mom taught me at a young age to appreciate old films, and especially classics like Jaws. Probably the most quintessential of summer films, Jaws has always been one of my favorites and as soon as the weather warms up I put in some popcorn, pop in my DVD, and commence being terrifically entertained by a 25 foot great white . Despite it’s now dated look, it’s one of those movies everybody has seen, or at least should. Basically, It’s a Wonderful Life is to Christmas what Jaw’s is to Summer.

Jaws, for those of you who don’t know, is about a small island community named Amity that’s being terrorized by a massive shark. Roy Scheider plays new sheriff Martin Brody, who sets out to stop the beast despite pressure from local businesses- you know, they make their living off of visitors during the summer season, so what’s a few dead people in between friends? When a young boy becomes the next victim of the predator, a bounty is put up for the beast. Brody, old (and creepy) local fisherman Quint, and marine scientist Matt Hooper set out to stop the great white.

Memorable Jaws Quote:

I don’t want no volunteers, I don’t want no mates, there’s just too many captains on this island. $10,000 for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.

- Quint, Jaws (1975)

Feature Film Friday: Thor (2011)

Every girl wishes that her guy was a built-like-a-rock, hot, Australian, fallen god of thunder. Unfortunately, that make of man is out of stock. So, if you can’t have him you might as well spend 114 minutes eating popcorn watching Chris Hemsworth play him. Based off of the Marvel comic, Hemsworth plays Thor Odinson- who, when banished from his homeworld of Asgard must fight to regain the powers that were taken from  him from his father. In a machevellian twist, we find out that Thor’s own brother Loki is behind Thor’s banishment, and he has no intention of letting his brother return to Asgard.

Thor is wildly entertaining, and the graphics are insane. I saw it when it came out in theatres in 3D, which was pretty cool. Having never read the comic series, I was pleasantly surprised at the very Shakespearean undertones of the storyline. I loved this movie so much I bought it on DVD and I have every intention of catching The Avengers this May, and the planned sequel to Thor (and I’m in no way a comic fan)!

Here’s the trailer:

Memorable Thor Quote:

“You know, for a crazy homeless person… he’s pretty cut.”

- Darcy, Thor 2011

Have you seen Thor? What did you think? If not, do you plan to see the Avengers or have you seen any other Marvel movies?

Procrastination Station- Part 1

I’ve got loads to do- as usual. Papers to write, food to cook, things to organize, you name it and it’s on my to-do list. However, I have a problem with procrastination (as usual), and with the internet being chock-full of things that are seemingly designed to entertainingly waste time I thought I’d  share some of my most recent distractions with you:

1) Watching a Funny Trailer:

The Madagascar 3 trailer- of course this trailer is hysterical, I mean all the former Madagascar movies were funny so this one is expected to be equally as entertaining. However, when I first saw this trailer I was shocked (and amused) at what I thought I heard Marty the Zebra say towards the end of the trailer – what kind of circus did he say it was? Obviously my audio might’ve been a little fuzzy, still I know a few people who initially heard the same thing I did *wink*

2) Watching Bloopers:

This blooper is hysterical, I’m serious I could watch this a zillion times (and I have) and still laugh. I’m so bad when it comes to this video, that my best friend rolls her eyes every time I repeat Juan Pablo’s line. But if this blooper doesn’t do it for you, there are loads of them all over YouTube to entertain yourself with.

3) Watching Idiots:

I have never in my many years seen such hilarity. I mean watching these people willingly make fools out of themselves was so funny, it was disturbing. I first saw clips from “Wipe-Out” on YouTube, but was surprised to find out that it was a pretty popular show with spinoffs in other countries. Which makes perfect sense, because, well, who doesn’t like to have a chuckle at other peoples expense? *WARNING: mild violence*

4) Reading HelloGiggles:

I love this site, and you will too! With articles like “Would Our Favorite TV ad Movie Couples Still Be Together Today?” it’s no wonder I can,and have, spent hours reading the posts on HelloGiggles :)

Because I’m a Nerd: The Hobbit

I’m not going to lie. I love Tolkien. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those Middle Earth obsessed weirdos who dress like elves, quote Bilbo Baggins, and live in my mums basement. Okay fine. Occasionally I’ll repeat something I heard in the book, or the movie, because of course I own the movie (extended version). But trust me- the last costume I wore was for a Halloween dance years ago, I was like twelve and dressed like Genie from I Dream of Genie. So while you won’t catch me obsessing over Middle Earth or elves, you might have caught me this past week catching up with Peter Jackson’s vlogs for The Hobbit.

Any person whose got a true appreciation for good filmmaking will tell you LOTR and Jackson’s crew is where it’s at. So naturally The Hobbit is easily the most, if not one of the most, anticipated films of 2012 (December, for Part 1) and 2013 (also December for Part 2). However, a year is a pretty long time to wait- especially when they’ve already got a trailer out there. Luckily for us LOTR fans, Jackson has actually been posting a series of vlogs taken from the production/filming of The Hobbit. And if you’ve seen the extras from The Lord of the Rings dvd’s then you’ll already know how outrageously informative and entertaining these extra bits are! Here’s the first of Jackson’s vlogs, and you can catch the rest here as well as the trailer:

You can also follow The Hobbit blog here, follow them on facebook, or if you’re a really really big fan you can also follow Ian McKellen’s blog for more. Are you a fan of LOTR? Are you as excited as I am for The Hobbit? What do you thing of Jackson’s vlogs? Let me know in the comments below!

Feature Film Friday: The Mummy (1999)

This is probably one of the best Friday night flicks ever. I love this movie so much that I’ve bought it numerous times (when they get all worn out from over-usage, aka somebody dropping it on the floor and getting it all scratched up). In fact, I love this movie so much that I feel it’s one of those rare movies that the trailer alone summarizes the movie sufficiently enough to bring in an audience, so here you go!

Adventure, romance,and  intrigue, The Mummy is pure unadulterated fun! You’ll be glad you saw it (if you haven’t already)!

Aveeno Clear Complexion Cleanser: Review and Giveaway

Me and my skin have a terrible love/hate relationship. I mean, I know I’m blessed to have reasonably good skin. I don’t have terrible cysts or anything that bad. But I do have the worst combination skin, and a bit of rosacea. My forehead and eyelids are constantly doing the tango between oily and dry, and my cheeks have a perpetual pink flush. So whenever I’m seeking to address something like a breakout, finding a product that will cater to my skins needs is surprisingly hard. Then I stumbled on Missglamorazzi’s morning skin care routine ( if you haven’t subscribed to her video‘s, tumblr, twitter, or FB you totally should- she’s got great makeup tutorials, and she’s also done some giveaways too!). Anyways, after watching Ingrid’s vid I decided to try Aveeno’s Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser for myself- and I have never been so surprised by a product before (in a good way).

Before trying Aveeno’s cleanser I had been using a prescribed medication  for breakouts and prevention. I used it on and off because I felt that the product was super harsh on my skin. So, the first time I used the cleanser I noticed a significant difference in my skin tone, and scattered acne breakouts. I had washed my face at night, and in the morning my acne was clearing and my rosacea was definitely lighter. Since then I’ve been a HUGE fan. I’ve stopped using the medication (which I am not recommending you do, so be sure to consult your doctor before changing your skincare routine- I’m just telling you what worked for me), and now wash my face nightly with Aveeno. The wash smells amazing, and doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight and dry.

Since I expect to be traveling soon I picked up Aveeno’s bar version of the same cleanser- and I also picked up one to giveaway here!

To enter (make sure you leave a way of contacting you in case you win i.e. email, twitter, FB):

1. Comment, what’s your fav skincare routine product?

2. Comment on another post and leave a comment here telling me you did

3. Subscribe to nyctalon via email (right sidebar)

4. Follow me on twitter

5. Like nyctalon on FB

4. Share this giveaway on social media sites (twitter, fb, etc.) and post a link in the comments

This giveaway starts 2/13/2012 and ends 2/20/2012. I was not compensated in any way for this review/giveaway. Open to US only.

Tanya Burr, Make-Up Artist Extrordinaire

When I started the NYC Talon I knew that I wanted to feature “artists”, websites, and people that sort of resonate with me and my readers. However, since I don’t have any readers quite yet I picked somebody who I really admire- and that’s Tanya Burr! Ever since I was a little girl I loved playing with make-up and hair products, I used to watch my mom every morning when she was applying her make-up and geling her hair. I even earned the nick name “Vicky”  when I was like two or three for a full month when after watching her style her curls with gel, I picked up a jar of Vick’s Menthol Rub and applied it to my hair in the same fashion.

Now that I’m all grown up I still love to play with make-up (although I reserve the Vick’s for cold’s only nowadays). And there’s no girly thing I love to do more then find new styles to learn and recruit my mom and two sisters to practice them on. So when I woke up and saw a feature article on Yahoo! about an amazing make-up artist who was formerly a make-up counter salesgirl I was drawn like moth to flame. Tanya Burr’s youtube video’s are the rare video’s online that you don’t end up regretting that you watched (or wondering where the last ten minutes of your life went). For practically the rest of the day I watched her video’s, switching between her tutorials and Sephora’s online store. In fact I have successfully built my Christmas, Birthday, Valentine’s day and every holiday in between wishlist- for like the next five years.

Tanya’s bio on her website reads:

Tanya Burr is a 22 year old Make-Up Artist and YouTube beauty guru phenomenon. She has trained with and assisted some of the UK’s top make up artists and also worked for Laura Mercier and Clinique where she learned a lot about makeup, skincare and the industry. Tanya runs a highly successful youtube channel delivering tutorials and beauty advice to thousands of viewers every day. Subscribe to Tanya’s newsletter to receive personal emails from her every now and then about what has been going on in the beauty world, her world and to find out what videos are coming next!

Her channel attracts millions looking for beauty advice, (2 million a month to be precise) including a young audience who are hungry for advice on quality affordable products. Her make up looks are straight forward and wearable, yet truly transforming.

Tanya keeps up to speed with current trends and regularly works behind the scenes at London Fashion Week. Also, Tanya has a jewellery collection with London’s trend inspired jewellery company Talullah Tu. This helps her keep up to date with what is hot in the fashion world. She has a second channel on YouTube devoted to fashion videos, which is rapidly becoming one of the most subscribed ‘outfit of the day’ channels on YouTube.

She really is an amazing makeup artist, and after years of reading “How-To’s” I can in all honesty tell you that Tanya’s tutorials are practically fool-proof, and provide the best guide to doing your makeup right (next to having her right there showing you how, a.k.a. Christmas list item #134). So, if and when I do have readers, and if you like looking pretty and playing with makeup and really just subsequently feeling good about yourself check out her YouTube channel here and here, and her website/blog here. Thank you so much Tanya- your video’s rock!