Friday, May 29, 2015

Ninja Bunny

    Does this little bunny have what it takes to
become ... a super awesome ninja?

This little bunny is ready to embark on the path toward becoming a super awesome ninja. He does what any bunny would do: follows a step-by-step guide in order to become the BEST ninja bunny that ever lived. First, he must learn to work alone and to be super sneaky, strong, and speedy; and most importantly, he must be able to battle anyone, anywhere, anytime. Then the little ninja faces his biggest challenge yet: a big brown bear. What’s a bunny-in-training to do?

JENNIFER GRAY OLSON is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in art education. She is a glassblower and sculptor. In addition to writing and illustrating, Jennifer is also the co-coordinator of the SCBWI Orange /Riverside/San Bernardino illustrators’ schmooze. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two boys, and baby girl. Learn more about Jennifer and view her illustrations at 

My Thoughts:
This book is really cute. The illustrations are fabulous and really help to bring the story to life. Ninja Bunny is dedicated and determined to being the best Ninja Bunny he can be. He follows all of the rules that will ensure his success, even if not as perfectly as he would like. But then Ninja Bunny faces his biggest challenge and learns his biggest lesson..... 

My kids loved reading this book with me. They thought Ninja Bunny was cool, but they really loved the ending and the great lesson that Ninja Bunny learned. It's a fun bedtime story that we will share over and over again!

Renuzit Pearl Scents - Beautiful Air by Design

Keeping my home smelling fresh and clean is a top priority.  I love walking into a room and being washed over with a faint, yet spectacular scent.  I am famous for trying to accomplish this in so many ways... from candles to plug in's to free standing fresheners. You name it... I've tried it. So when I saw that Renuzit, a brand that I have used and loved in the past, was coming out with a brand new product I knew I wanted to give it a try.

The new Renuzit Pearl Scents are available in five fantastic scents:

  • Blue Sky Breeze
  • Serenity
  • Sparkling Rain
  • Tranquil
  • Seductive Pineapple
These scents come in these really cool jars that are nice enough that you don't have to strategically hide them behind a picture frame. Yes, I have done that before. But these jars are just really cool. They are plastic... yay!... I have two small kids, plastic is best. They are lightweight and shaped really cool, the top is even fancy. They look like part of your decor... but smell amazing!

I got to try the Sparkling Rain scent. It's really nice. It smells fresh and clean with a hint of spa. That may sound weird... but it reminds me of the yummy smells when you are at the spa. I put it in my family room because that's the room we use the most. It's the perfect spring scent and we have been enjoying it for a couple of weeks now.  How does it look?

Yay for a long lasting, odor neutralizing air freshener! We are big fans of this design and scent. I will be on the hunt for more. I love the variety so I can place them around my house to meet my likes. I can just imagine Tranquil in the bedroom and Blue Sky Breeze in the laundry room. How about some Seductive Pineapple in the kitchen? So many options!

Renuzit Pearl Scents are available now at your local retailer!  And a lucky reader will get the chance to try these out for themselves!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* The Renuzit brand provided me with a sample of Renuzit Pearl Scents in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NEW SoftSoap Fragrant Foaming Collection

I love trying new hand soaps. I have a thing about matching my soaps to the season. I feel like it adds a lovely little touch to the bathroom or kitchen to have something fragrant and seasonal helping to decorate my sink. Softsoap is often a go-to brand of mine because they have so many fabulous scents and great looking bottles.

There newest line has everything I am looking for in a hand soap. Fragrance and foaming.... plus top notch germ fighting while still leaving hands feeling soft and silky. These new scents are exactly what I am looking for to help keep things fresh as we open the windows and welcome the gorgeous warm weather!

  • Jasmine and White Cotton: Impress your guests with the fresh scent of Jasmine and White Cotton. Its airy aroma makes every hand wash sparkle, while lush foam gently purifies the skin.

  • Whipped Cocoa Butter: Pamper your skin with the rich foaming lather infused with real cocoa butter extracts. The decadent scent of Whipped Cocoa Butter makes every hand wash a treat.

  • Kitchen Citrus Bliss: Awaken your senses and brighten your home with the crisp, sun-drenched scent of Kitchen Citrus Bliss. Its vibrant aroma invigorates every hand wash, while lush foam gently cleans and soothes skin.
I am a fan! I personally love the refreshing and clean fragrance of the Jasmine and White Cotton. It reminds me of fresh laundry. But having a citrusy scent in the kitchen has been great. My husband is partial to the Whipped Cocoa Butter... it does smell yummy!

I would definitely recommend you check these out at your local retailer and add some fragrance to your spring!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Strange Magic

A Music-filled Fairy Tale About Finding Love in the Unlikeliest of Places

Everyone Deserves to be Loved
On DVD and Digital May 19th.

“Strange Magic” is a music-filled fairy tale about finding true love in the unlikeliest of places. This magical adventure features a host of colorful characters including a princess who has sworn off love, a dubious villain, a slightly nutty Sugar Plum Fairy, a tenacious elf, a mischievous imp, and a knight who is no Prince Charming. Bring home the enchanting tale the whole family can enjoy today!

VOICE TALENT:          
Evan Rachel Wood (“The Wrestler,” “Across The Universe”) as Marianne, Kristin Chenoweth (“Rio 2,” “Bewitched”) as Sugar Plum Fairy, Alan Cumming (TV’s “The Good Wife,” “X-Men 2”) as Bog King, Maya Rudolf (“Bridesmaids,” “Grown Ups 2”) as Griselda.

DIRECTOR:                        Gary Rydstrom (Pixar’s Lifted and Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation)

STORY BY:                          George Lucas (“Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”)

RELEASE DATE:                 May 19, 2015

BONUS FEATURES:           Magical Mash Up: Outtakes, Test and Melodies

                                             Creating the Magic

PRODUCT INFO:               DVD, Digital HD/SD and On-Demand

GENRE:                                Animation

RATINGS:                             PG

FEATURE RUN TIME:         100 minutes
ASPECT RATIO:                   2.35:1
AUDIO:                                  5.1 Dolby
LANGUAGES:                       English

My Thoughts:
I could really write two reviews for this movie... one from an adult's perspective and one from a child's. But either way... the movie is fabulous. The adult side of me is still singing the songs. Yes, the soundtrack is amazing. And reeling with anger toward that sneaky, betraying prince while rooting for the strong princess. The child side of me is still fascinated by this magical world that I was transported to with stunning animation... where magic potions and Sugar Plum Fairies exist.

My daughter is 5 and she fell in love with this movie. From the fun music, to the likable characters (of course the princess, Marianne, was her favorite), to all kinds of magic, adventure, and romance. I was concerned that it would be too dark for her, or heavy with the whole "Midsummer Night's Dream" connection... but she was totally taken with the magic of the whole thing.

The characters are funny and full of personality, the music is fantastic, the animation is beautiful, the story is much more family friendly than I imagined. Overall, it was an incredible family film experience. And one that we will watch again and again!

Maya the Bee Movie


Featuring All-Star Voice Cast of Coco Jack Gillies, Academy Award® Nominee Jacki Weaver,
Miriam Margolyes, Richard Roxburgh, Noah Taylor, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Justine Clarke



Kids and parents across North America will soon be enamored by the world famous little bee named Maya and her insect friends when the international smash hit “MAYA THE BEE MOVIE” makes its buzz-worthy debut on DVD and on two-disc BLU-RAY™ 3D Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D and 2D, DVD and digital) from Shout! Factory Kids on May 19, 2015.  The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack allows viewers to enjoy “MAYA THE BEE MOVIE” on the platform of their choice and includes movie presentation on Blu-ray 3D and 2D, DVD and a digital copy of the movie.  Fans can pre-order their copy now by visiting

Already a great box office success in much of the world, “MAYA THE BEE MOVIE,” based on the well-known children’s novel and popular animated series in Europe, Australia and Asia, offers an immersive cinematic adventure into a spectacular macroscopic world. This highly anticipated animated feature brings to life an enchanting story of a little bee named Maya and her exciting adventure of self-discovery and fantastical fun.  A must-have for fans of all ages, “MAYA THE BEE MOVIE” is an instant classic that delivers wholesome family entertainment— emphasizing the importance of friendship, freedom and courage. This internationally acclaimed film can also be seen in select theaters in Los Angeles and New York on May 1, 2015.

Directed by Alexs Stadermann (Bambi II) and produced by Studio 100 Media and Buzz Studios in association with Flying Bark Productions, “MAYA THE BEE MOVIE” features the acclaimed voice talent of Coco Jack Gillies, Academy Award® nominee Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook),  Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter, Babe), Richard Roxburgh (Mission: Impossible II), Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Kodi Smit-McPhee (ParaNorman, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and  Justine Clarke (Home and Away).

Maya is a little bee with a big heart. She dreams of an exciting life of freedom, fun and adventure – the world is simply far too interesting to stay inside a hive! Her funny attempts to fit in bring her into trouble with the Queen’s narrow-minded royal advisor, Buzzlina. With her best friend Willy, Maya buzzes out into the meadow on an exhilarating adventure of self-discovery.

While most bees believe that other insects should be feared, Maya can’t help but make friends with Flip the charismatic and eccentric grasshopper, Kurt the dung beetle and even Sting, a young hornet. But when the Queen’s royal jelly is stolen, it will take Maya and all of her bug buddies to figure out who did it and how to save the day!

One of the best-known and beloved children’s brands of all-time, the stories of Maya The Bee have been passed down among generations of families for years. Originally a German children’s novel by Waldemar Bonsels, The Adventures of Maya the Bee was published over a hundred years ago in 1912. Since the original publishing, the book has been translated into many other languages and enjoyed by children all over the world. In addition to the book, Maya The Bee is also a comic book series, appeared in various iterations as animated series and now a major animated feature film.

“MAYA THE BEE MOVIE” Two-Disc Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack contains the following special features: Movie presentation on Blu-ray 3D and 2D, DVD and a Digital Copy of the film
·         A Interview With Maya

·         “Dancing With Bees” – An Exclusive Episode Of The Maya The Bee TV Series

·         Blooper Reel

·         Trailers

“MAYA THE BEE MOVIE” DVD contains the following bonus features:
·         A Interview With Maya

·         “Dancing With Bees” – An Exclusive Episode Of The Maya The Bee TV Series

·         Blooper Reel

·         Trailers

My Thoughts:
I sat down with my two kids (ages 2 and 5) to watch this fun animated film together. Maya is the star of the show, and a very lovable one at that. She reminded me so much of my daughter with her curiosity, continuous question asking, and fabulous ability to not listen. Ahh, little girls. Maya, like my daughter, is always well intentioned but not always making the best choices.

Maya begins to feel like she doesn't belong. Like she's not like all the other bees. While I see this as a thing to celebrate, kids do not often like feeling different and this can lead to hurt feelings. Maya has to go through many adventures and some new friends to come to the realization that she is perfect just they way she is. That she should embrace what makes her unique and that those characteristics that make her amazing.

It's great to see Maya have the courage to step away from the strict and boring life she has been raised to be a part of, go on an adventure, and meet some truly fabulous friends (Willie was everyones favorite as he has an amazing personality and provides lots of laughs). Maya becomes a hero just by being her and having courage. This film is filled with great messages about honesty, friendship, courage, and loving who you are.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How Penguin Says Please! and How Tiger Says Thank You!

by Abigail Samoun
illustrated by Sarah Watts

"S'il vous plait?" "Merci!"

Follow Penguin and Tiger around the globe as they teach readers to say please and thank you in seven different languages: French, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Mandarin, Japanese, and Spanish.

Watts' sweet illustrations depict lovely scenes from far-off countries, including a market in Moscow, a boat on Egypt's Nile River, and a Chinese fish market. Each foreign world includes a pronunciation guide, and an illustrated map of the world follows both animals' travels.

How Penguin Says Please!
ISBN: 9781454914969
How Tiger Says Thank You!
ISBN: 9781454914976
Abigail Samoun, illustrated by Sarah Watts
Board - 7x7 - 22 p - $6.95 ($8.50 Can)
Publication Date: May 2015

My Thoughts:
These are such neat little books! It's like going on a world adventure, learning new things and seeing new site... without ever having to leave home! My little sponges are have such a great time learning new languages and practicing their manners.  The illustrations are great and give a colorful and fun view into what different parts of the world look like. It's a fun learning experience!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ready to Read: Sparky and Tidbit

by Kathyrn O. Galbraith
illustrated by Gerald Kelley

SPARKY AND TIDBIT is the story of Sparky, a dog just itching to be a hero. He tries to scare away bone robbers or chase off mean hissy cats, but there are no robbers or mean kitties to be found. Then Sparky bumps into Tidbit, a neighborhood pup with a problem -- he's not as good at reading as the other pups in his class. But when he reads to Sparky, he's no longer embarrassed when he sounds out the words. Soon Ms. Beagle makes Sparky the Official Listener at Little Pooch Puppy School and all the pups practice reading to him. Sparky is a hero after all!

SPARKY AND TIDBIT was inspired by the many great reading programs that include dogs as patient listeners. It's perfect for encouraging confidence in young readers.

My Thoughts:
My kindergartner is just beginning to read. It's such an amazing and exciting time to see her be able to pick out site words and sound bigger words out. We are trying to fill her bookshelf with books from the Ready-To-Read collection. They do such an amazing job of leveling books from just beginning to read with a grownup to reading on your own and understanding more complex plots.

Sparky and Tidbit falls into Level Three, which contains books that are a little longer, have more complex story plot and character development, and have some challenging vocabulary. My daughter is not up to reading Level Three books independently, so this was a great one for us to share together.

She was so into it... looking for site words, making predictions, asking questions! We had a blast going on this adventure with the very helpful Sparky and the totally adorable Tidbit. Plus, there were so many things in this story that my daughter could relate to. sounding out words and learning to read isn't easy, but it can be so much fun and so worth all the hard work! My daughter felt like such a big kid because there are chapters in this book! Wow, a chapter book that she can help read.

Learning to read is such an amazing experience for kids and their parents. I love encouraging and supporting my daughter as she blossoms into a real book worm. I adore the Ready-To-Read series and Sparky and Tidbit is such a fun addition!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Dial Kids Hand Soap and Dial Baby Body &Hair Wash

Dial is gentle on babies' and kids' skin

"For 67 years, the Dial brand has been developing trusted personal care products for clean, healthy skin. Dial is excited to announce it's entry into the babies' personal care with Dial Baby Body & Hair Wash developed with pediatric dermatologists for babies' perfect skin. It gently removes environmental dirt for a head to toe clean."

"Also introducing Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash. It was developed with pediatric dermatologists and makes hand washing fun for all ages! The formula is gentle on hands and kids' skin, helping parents make smart decision when it comes to kids' perfect skin."

My Thoughts:
My family has been using Dial soap for quite some time. It's our go-to brand as it is one we know is affordable, has great choices, it's available at our local food store, and we all love every kind we have tried. So now we are even more thrilled that there are options for kids and babies, too!

We have two little ones in our household, and both of them have sensitive skin. My son is 2 and when he was a baby he had terrible baby acne and eczema. We have always been very careful when trying new soaps and body washes. We tried the Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash on him and it was great! It provided a nice lather, rinsed off easily, let his skin feeling baby smooth... and he didn't have any reactions! My daughter even wanted to give it a try!

Both kids are also fans of the Kids Foaming Hand Wash. We do A LOT of hand washing in our house. It's the best way to keep the germs away! They love the foam and the watermelon scent. It's easy to send them to wash their hands when they can independently pump the soap and love to scrub their hands because of all the fun foamy bubbles.

Both products were a big hit in my house! Just more Dial things to love and look for at my local store!

* I received free products in order to write an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.