'Puzzle' is Well Made, but a Few Pieces are Missing

Based on the film Rompecabezas, Puzzle is one of those little-known independent films that sneaks into theaters with little to no fanfare, although the fact that it is being promoted “from the producer of Little Miss Sunshine” should help it get noticed somewhat. Puzzle is a quiet, little film about a woman who discovers that jigsaw puzzles are the key to changing her life. While the subject matter doesn’t sound all that exciting, the film really isn’t about puzzles but instead about one finding their voice, or so it appears. It’s also a message film that has its own agenda expecting the audience to agree with the choices of the main character and applaud her “brave” behavior. Frankly, it just feels manipulative.

Directed by Marc Turtletaub, Puzzle’s most impactful scene comes within the first few minutes. We see Agnes (Kelly MacDonald) cleaning up the house and they decorating it for a birthday party. Then we see her serving appetizers while being ignored by the guests. …

5 Ways to Give Gifts Twice

We’re not talking about re-gifting, we’re talking about unique gifts that you can give to family and friends and make a donation to a worthy charity at the same time, giving two gifts for the price of one.

FEED Projects

Mission: Since 2006 FEED has been able to provide over 60 million meals to school children around the world through the United Nations World Food Programme’s School Feeding Program. The title is a mouthful for a mission trying to feed mouths. They do this by selling quality, environmentally-friendly, and artisan inspired products made in Guatemala, India and Kenya.

Products Offered: Bags (messenger, tote, travel), accessories (bracelets, pouches, scarves) and apparel (t-shirts and children’s clothes).

Prices Range: $10-$495     Website: www.feedprojects.com

Project 7

Mission: In 2008 Tyler Merrick began a new life selling simple projects for seven good causes based on these seven mandates: Heal the sick, save the earth, house the homeless, feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, teach them well and hope for peace. He did this to ensure everyone around the globe has access to fundamental human needs for a healthy life.

Products Offered: T-shirts, mugs, i-Phone cases, sugar-free gum, sugar-free mints, and bottled spring water.

Prices Range: $12.50-$24.00     Website: www.project7.com


Mission: Initially, Blake Mycoskie created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes it sold creating the One for One program in 2006. A pair of shoes sold here would allow him to give a pair of shoes to a needy child across the ocean.  A few years later, he added eyewear with the same principle. This year, TOMS created Marketplace selling a variety of items with the promise that TOMS will donate a similar item to someone in need across the globe. You can shop by cause, region needing help or brand of product.

Products Offered: Shoes, glasses, jewelry, accessories, bags, apparel, tech items, bikes and more.

Prices Range: $12-$325     Website: www.Toms.com

Charity USA

Mission: Since 1999 Charity USA’s Greater Good Network has contributed more than $30 million to charities around the world through its variety of shops focusing on a different need: Hunger, veterans, literacy, women, cancer survivors,  children’s heath, animals, rain forests, animals and autism.

Products Offered: Calendars, clothing, watches, kitchen d├ęcor, inspirational items, children’s gifts,  clothing for the whole family and more. It is like shopping at the mall without leaving your home.

Prices Range: $3-$850     Website: www.Charityusa.com


Mission: Sevenly aims to raise awareness for the world’s greatest causes and to learn the issues that break God’s heart. Every week, Sevenly teams up with a different charity and a new t-shirt design and each week they give $7 to that charity for every item sold. To Date, Sevenly has been able to give over 2.8 million to those in need.

Products Offered: Clothing for men, women and children, accessories, prints, home items,  jewelry, 

Prices Range: $20-$120     Website:www.sevenly.org


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