Friday, August 31, 2012

Estee Lauder from SkinCareRx

I recently entered a product giveaway from SkinCareRx and won a bottle of Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Fresh Balancing Lotion. This was a product that I had never tried before so I was anxious to see what it was like.

When I was a teen I had some pretty bad acne. Luckily as an adult I have had it under control, except when I was pregnant with my first. I had terrible pregnancy acne that came on around my 3rd month and lasted almost until the end. So with this pregnancy I wanted to stay on top of things. I have been vigilant about cleaning my face each morning and before bed. I have also limited the amount of makeup I'm wearing to help eliminate some of the oils on my skin.

About the Product
This revitalizing toning lotion optimizes & rebalances skin provides skin with light hydrators & conditioning botanical blend gently control oily zones while soothing dry area prepares skin to achieve best results from skin care that follows leaves skin feeling fresh, comfortable & healthy suitable for normal or combination skin.

I decided to give the balancing lotion a try and I really loved the way it felt. I put some of the liquid on a cotton ball and gently rubbed it on my face, targeting my trouble spots (the dreaded "T zone"). I felt like it went on soft and smooth. I didn't feel oily or dry after using it and my pores felt like they were open and airing out, do you know that feeling? It just felt clean and fresh. I would recommend trying it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

TeenyMates - Review

Are you ready for some football? My husband has been ready for months and is counting down the minutes until the Giants take the field for their first game of the season. He loves his football, so when I learned that Lil" Teammates had come out with a new line of collectibles I had to check them out!

TeenyMates are pocket sized figurines representing all of the major NFL teams. They are about an inch tall an come in a pack of 2 figures. The best part about these guys is you don't know what you're gonna get. Each pack is a mystery and comes with two figures and two puzzle pieces. You get to keep collecting them until you have all 32 NFL quarterbacks and all 35 puzzle pieces. Here's a little more about them:

1" tall, officially licensed NFL figures for kids and collectors alike, ages 4 and up.
Entering the immensely popular mini-collectible market as the only official NFL figures available.
Amazing detail for such tiny figures.
Great for play, and fun to collect and trade!
Each foil bag pack comes with 2 random quarterbacks and 2 puzzle pieces, adding mystery and excitement to each purchase!
Collect all 32 NFL quarterbacks and all 35 double-sided puzzle pieces.
Plus: 3 hard-to-find rare figures - a Throwback QB, a Metallic Gold QB, and a Glow-in-the Dark QB!
Double-sided puzzle allows you to build either a collector mini-poster featuring all 32 QBs, or a football field display set.
Now available at Target, team shops, and sporting goods, gift and toy stores across the nation!
MSRP: $3.99

My husband was so excited to open up his packs and see who he got. HE was thrilled to see that he received one of the rare figurines - The Metallic Gold QB. But he was slightly bummed when he didn't get the Giants QB. But it gave me an idea... perfect stocking stuffer!!

Now these guys proudly adorn his shelf in his office.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Get Ready for Halloween with

Can you believe that September is this weekend?!?! Part of me is sad to say goodbye to summer, but another part of me is anxious for my favorite season to get under way! Fall is a big deal in my house. My husband can't stop talking about football and I am excited to go apple picking and carve pumpkins. I love the weather and look forward to pulling out my hoodies and jeans. But perhaps the most exciting part for us is the preparation for Halloween!

Ever since my daughter was born we have gotten so much more into celebrating Halloween. We decorate the house and buy tons of candy for the kids. I have even convince my husband to dress up to make the day/night even more fun for our little one.

This year the conversation about Halloween costumes started around June. Yep, we start everything early. She has gone back and forth a few times between a butterfly, a fairy, and a princess. So a few weeks ago I pulled up and did a search. I found several butterfly and fairy costumes and a bunch of her all time favorites... the Disney Princesses. Then I opened each one in it's own window and showed her the options one-by-one. This was the perfect way to shop! She did the hard part...narrowing it down to a few selections. And then she very confidently said yes or no until we were down to just a couple.

We had so much fun going through the options and talking about which ones she liked best. And she finally decided that she wanted to be Ariel!
I am very pleased with this costume. It arrived quickly and my daughter was so anxious to try it on! She loves that it has fins and it's very sparkly. I always order a size up when ordering costumes, so I went for the size small in child (which is recommended for 4-6) and it fit her perfectly. She was so in love she begged to leave it on all day. Of course I'm paranoid that it will get dirty before Halloween, so we hung it up until the big day. Then she can add it to her costume box and be Ariel whenever she wants! is a great place to shop quickly and easily for the costume you are looking for. They have everything you could imagine for babies, toddlers, kids, teens, and adults. Their website is easy to navigate and search for categories or specific costumes. Their prices seem very fair to me and I was pleased with the quality of this costume. Check it out today and start getting ready! Halloween will be here before you know it!

*I received a costume free of charge for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Monster Rally Coming to DVD

 The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Monster Rally    
Available on DVD September 4 from Shout! Factory Kids Drivers, let’s get rolling! 

The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Monster Rally will arrive on DVD on September 4, 2012, from Shout! Factory Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios, Inc. Featuring 10 exhilarating episodes and exciting bonus content, The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Monster Rally  is priced at $12.99.

Join Tonka Chuck, the little dump truck with huge dreams — not to mention wheels! — and his friends as they steer you through one monster rally of a good time! Take an adventure with Chuck’s friends Handy, Digger, Biggs, Soku, Rowdy and Boomer, through mud-splashing, big-tire fun! No matter what obstacles are in Chuck’s way, he knows that with good friends and a little imagination, he’s always going to cross the finish line a winner.

The Adventures of Chuck & Friends series is currently airing on The Hub TV Network in the U.S. and on Treehouse in Canada.
1.    Where There’s A Wheel
2.    Hop, Slip & a Jump
3.    Buffing Up
4.    Daredevil Chuck
5.    Chuck Atomic
6.    Being Biggs
7.    Hide & Seek
8.    Attack Of The Soft Chuck
9.    Legend Of Big Tire
10.  Hard At Work Bonus Features:Also includes a special sing-along!

My Thoughts:
With a little boy on the way I figured now was a good time to start introducing some of the shows that I would consider more "boyish" to my daughter. So we checked out the latest DVD from Chuck and Friends and was very pleasantly surprised by my daughter's reaction. She really didn't think it was for boys. She was totally interested and wanted to learn all of the names of the different trucks and what kind of trucks they were. This bodes well for me.. I hope!

I was impressed with this DVD because of the messages about friendship. These guys are in it together and take on challenges and unexpected barriers to get what needs to be done done. It's a nice show to share with your children.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

AZ Books - Review

AZ Books LLC, a leading publisher of innovative and interactive children's books around the world, is pleased to announce its entry to the U.S. market.

There are more than 200 children's books in the AZ wide collection, each of which brings delight to children and surprises their parents. They offer a vast array of children's book products, including pop-ups, electronic books, sound books, talking alphabets and encyclopedias, charming fairytales and musical books aimed at kids from newborn to 10-years old.

"The secret of AZ books is magic: They talk by themselves and ask children questions, tell stories and sing songs. The cleverness comes from the work of their talented creators and advanced technology," says Robert Tod, Vice President, AZ Books.

This well established international brand has product lines that appear in 32 different languages. With a price point under $20 on each book global sales have exceeded 45 million units.

Additional Company and Product Highlights:
.       Product line aimed at kids from newborn to 10 years old
.       New line to the United States with more than 200 titles
.       Worldwide team of 340 employees including designers, artists and editors
.       All product compliant with CPSC and ASTM standards and regulations
.       Niche product line - unique, desirable, and well priced
.       Informative, educational, entertaining, suitable also for early learning
.       Everything under $20 MSF

My Thoughts:
I was very excited to get the chance to check out AZ Books in person and browse their extensive catalog of books. I love the variety that is offered! There is something for every age (up to the suggested age of 10) and there is a nice variety of topics. As I browsed the catalog I was able to make myself a nice little wishlist of books that I knew my daughter and soon-to-be-here son would love. And I was very pleased at the prices that these books are offered at. Quality books at an affordable price!
I received the book, Sounds of the Farm, for review. This is the coolest book! It combines all of my daughter's favorite things. It is all about animals at the farm and what kind of sounds they make. My daughter loves to imitate different animal sounds. But this book is also a pop up.... and has sounds! So she was very engaged with this book and wanted to look at it several times. It's a great book, high quality, and is going to be a favorite for quite a while.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Oransi Fridge Air Purifier Review and Giveaway

My fridge scares me a little bit. I feel like it becomes almost like a black hole. There are things stuffed in there that I don't even like to think about. Once a week I bravely go in and dig through my containers of leftover food and try to identify what it is and when we ate it. More often than not I just resort to tossing it rather than taking any chances. And now that my daughter independently goes in the fridge and helps herself to milk or yogurt... sometimes I am greeted by some sort of spill that has oozed through the shelves and dripped every where.

It's a scary place in there and it's up to me to try and keep it in working order. But now I have a helper. Now I have a little magic to help keep it smelling fresh even when it's contents may be questionable. Here is a little about the product:

Silent, intuitive and effective in making your refrigerator smell incredibly fresh. Save money - for starters there are no replacement filters and nothing to clean. The air purifier uses 2 AA batteries that require replacement approximately every 45-90 days. Built-in micro processor controls the operation of the air purifier so it will cycle on and off to save battery life. Silent - no fans. Effective in the removal of odors and bacteria to keep your refrigerator smelling fresh and your food fresher. Conveniently fits anywhere in your refrigerator. Attractive neutral color and cool contemporary design. Patented Piezo-electric technology: allows for a high negative ion output to freshen your refrigerator without the harmful side effects of ozone that is found in standard ionizers.

I like the way this guy works. He is nice and small so I can have him hidden in a back corner where he is out of the way. You don't even know he is there. He is silent and just does his job. I noticed that my fridge does smell fresher after just having him in there overnight. I love that I can forget about him for awhile and just check on his batteries around 45 days into it. 

You can learn more about Oransi and the products they offer by visiting their Facebook page or following them on Twitter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Halloween Garland Lights Review

Halloween is right around the corner! This is my favorite time of year. From the time that it starts to get cool enough to wear a sweatshirt I am in full Halloween planning mode. We kick the season off by picking our pumpkins and getting some spooky decorations up all around the house. It's even more fun now that my daughter is really into the spirit of things. She has been planning her costume for months!

I love to pick up things that help make the house look festive without being a ton of work or a lot of money. So I think hanging up Halloween Garland Lights is a great idea! They are easy to hang up and look super festive. Add a few jack-o-lanterns to the front stoop and something hanging on the door and you are all set to welcome trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.

This strand of lights runs 9 feet and has black wire with 300 Amber lights. They can be used indoor or outdoor to add the perfect touch to a Halloween party or just make your house look festive for all the neighborhood kids.

We aren't quite ready to get our house all ready for Halloween, so we tested out these lights inside. We plugged them in and turned off all the lights. Then we made spooky noises as my daughter squealed with delight. She is so anxious to hang these outside and start the fun. I promised we could hang them up on the first day of October. We might as well celebrate for as long as we can!

I was impressed with the lights. The color was very vibrant and glowed a true Amber. I was worried they would look Christmasy, but with the color they definitely looked like Halloween lights and I think they will look awesome with jack-o-lanterns by their side. These lights are very affordable and would make a great addition to your Halloween decor! These lights are also available in multi-color, clear, and red/green for the Christmas season.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Brave is Coming to Blu-ray and DVD!

Brave was the very first movie my daughter saw in a movie theater. She LOVED it and so did the rest of the family. We went with my parents and my sister... so we covered a wide range of ages and everyone walked out with smiles on their faces. It is truly a movie for all ages! We are very excited to learn of it's release date so that we can relive the magic all over again!

Debuts November 13, 2012 on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack

Children's Books by Stephane Frattini - Review

Stephane Frattini has published more than 50 books in France, but is now bringing us two new books through Sterling Children's Books. Stephane currently lives in France, but he spent his childhood living in Africa. There he was exposed to the natural beauty that exists in the wild. He now shares his love of animals with two books, Tushes & Tails! and Who's Looking at you?.

Tushes and Tails!
Awesome animal photos and a lift-the-flap guessing game equal preschool nonfiction fun! Whose colorful tail feathers are those? Who has a striped rear end? Can you recognize these animal butts? These engaging photographs will keep kids guessing. Lift the flap and see what creature it is - and learn fascinating facts about each one, too!

My Thoughts:
My daughter and I had a blast with this book! It is the perfect book for parents to sit down and have some great interactions with their child. My daughter is really good with her animals. We have dozens of books about animals from all over - the farm, the jungle, the forest, the ocean - and she names most of them with no problem. This book brought about a whole new ballgame. She no longer could just have an animal memorized, she needed to know traits about them to help her figure it out. She knows a tiger when she sees one, but does she relate that a tiger has a tail? Or stripes? When seeing only a piece of animal it takes on a whole new level of learning. 

My daughter loved that the book was hands on. She was excited with each turn of the page that there was a new animals to reveal under the flaps. I was excited that there were some fascinating facts for me to share with her about each animal adding to the educational experience.

You can find Tushes and Tails! at Barnes and Noble.

Who's Looking at You?
Whose eyes flash like mirrors in the dark? What animal can see behind itself? The fun, eye-catching wildlife photography in Who's Looking at You? will keep kids guessing. Each page features a new close-up photo. Life the flap to see the animal's identity and learn more about it!

My Thoughts:
This book has many of the same features of Tushes and Tails. It provides and interactive learning experience that definitely had my daughter turning the pages with excitement. But this one is much more challenging! Wow, who knew an eye could tell you so much about an animal. My daughter didn't know as many of the animals by just seeing their eye, but that didn't keep her from being very interested. 

I would highly recommend these books to any parents of preschoolers. We truly enjoyed them and I love going back and rereading to see what she has remembered from the last time.  

You can find Who's Looking at You? at Barnes and Noble. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Where Has the Summer Gone?

I keep seeing posts all over Facebook about kids already heading back to school. We have a couple of weeks before our schools start up again, but it is already starting to feel like summer is over.  This summer we tried to do as much family stuff as we could! By this time next summer we will be a family of four and our outings will probably look very different. So we centered ourselves around little miss and squeezed in as much fun as we could!

Little Miss got her very own fishing pole and her Papa taught her how to fish!

We took a family vacation at the beach!

Little Miss had her first visit to Sesame Place!

We tried our hand at some mini golf.

We fed the animals at the farm.

We picked peaches!

Looking back at some of our summer highlights brings a big smile to face. We had a great summer filled with family, laughter, and love. Let's see how much more we can squeeze in before September comes!

What was your favorite family activity from this summer?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Family Movie Night with My Friend Bernard and Rockstars

Summer is quickly coming to an end. So we are trying to squeeze all the family fun we can in before the reality of September hits. We have found that Family Movie Nights really help to bring the family together. We are cuddle up with popcorn and a fun film. We laugh together and memories. And Phase 4 Films has some great movies available right now for you and your family to check out!

My Friend Bernard is releasing this month and is based on a wildly popular international hit animated series. The film centers around Sam, a shy boy who's afraid of almost everything! One day, a mysterious man gives him a magic pendant with a solution to his problem: a polar bear sidekick named Bernard who helps him lose all of his fears and enables Sam to face up to even the worst monsters with comedy and humor!

This film has a run time of 70 minutes and is currently awaiting rating. You can find this DVD at your local Redbox locations, Target, Walmart, and on

This film is a lot of fun! The characters are adorable and funny. My daughter got really into the animation and was laughing at all of the silly encounters these friends have with monsters.

Rockstars is also releasing this month. This film features the voice of Glee's Jane Lynch and is nominated for the Robert Award for Best Children/Family Film of 2012. In the film, viewers learn that it's not easy being a lowly earthworm. Gloria and Barry live at the bottom of the food chain. But one day an old disco record turns Barry's life upside down as he decides to make the world's greatest disco band. Gloria joins in on the fun and rises to stardom as a singing sensation! They have no arms and no rhythm, but earthworms can boogie too!

This film has a run time of 78 minutes and is rated PG. You can find this DVD at your local Redbox locations, Target, Walmart, and on

This is a movie that is sure to put a smile on your face. The two main characters steal your heart from the beginning. You are just rooting for them to succeed! This film is filled with good messages about how you can be anything you want to be and you shouldn't let anything stand in your way. It's full of fun music and big laughs. A definite fun family film!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Joovy - theBaBaSling Baby Carrier Review

With my second baby on the way I am really starting to worry about making myself available to two children. I remember with my first that most of our day was spent cuddling together, carrying her around the house, and pretty much just having her in my arms for the majority of the day. She wasn't a particularly fussy baby and would enjoy some time in her swing or rolling on the floor. But she mostly enjoyed being held and I enjoyed holding her.

Well, with two I will need to have my hands free. I didn't start to use any sort of a carrier with my daughter until she was about a year old. So the carrier that I have is not what I envisioned using to help me have my hands free for my toddler, yet still carry and cuddle my baby. I wanted a carrier that would allow me to cradle the baby and have a more natural position for him in the early months.

So when I saw the new carrier from Joovy I felt like it had me in mind with the design. TheBaBaSling carrier allows you to choose from several positions as your child grows. Here is a little bit of information from Joovy:
TheBabaSling by Joovy is a revolution in design, comfort and simplicity.  As advocates for "baby wearing," we believe theBabaSling is the most amazingly versatile, easy to use sling on the market today.  

This hammock style sling is perfectly shaped to support a newborn’s developing spine while providing essential closeness and bonding between parent and baby.  With five carrying positions and easily adjustable straps (can be worn on right or left shoulder), theBabaSling is so easy to use it can be safely shared with grandparents, older siblings and caregivers.
I was thrilled to get the opportunity to check out theBaBaSling for myself.
When it arrived I was excited to see the nifty little carrying case that it came in. Perfect for packing it up tightly when traveling. The instruction guide was thorough in providing information in multiple languages. It walks you through the 5 different carrying positions and how to securely wear your baby.
I was most excited to try out the "Easy Tiger" position, which is intended for children 0-4 months. I was amazed at how easy it is to work with this sling. There are basically two clips with straps that easily tighten to where you are comfortable. The shoulder is padded for comfort and feels very natural on your body. It is definitely a carrier that one person can put on and take off by themselves, which will be very important when I'm home alone with two children.
Once the baby comes I will have to play with the 
strap adjustments to make us both comfortable. 

I found this carrier to be very comfortable and easy to use. I love how easy it is to transfer the carrier from one adult to the next with the one-size-fits-all capability. I felt like the baby was secure in the sling and could be repositioned easily, as well as taken out of the sling when sleeping. It also allows for you to breast feed using this carrier in two different positions, which I think is an amazing feature!

The carrier is 100% cotton and can be washed in the machine. Crucial with those unexpected spit ups. I have found Joovy products to be very high quality. We used their Nook highchair with my daughter and having it waiting in the wings for round two with the next baby. So I am very excited to put this carrier to some real use in the coming months.

You can shop for this and other Joovy products online or you can check out their store locator to see other retailers.

* I received this product for review purposes. No other compensation was exchanged. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Doc McStuffins is Coming to DVD

My daughter is a huge Doc McStuffins fan! We watch it every night before bed. Having it on DVD will make her day!

Raggedy Ann and Andy by Aurora World

As I child I grew up with a Raggedy Ann doll. She had been handmade by a friend of my mother's and was kept on a shelf in our playroom. We weren't really allowed to play with her too much, as my mother was afraid something would happen to her. None the less, my sister and I loved her and we would take her down occasionally for tea parties and other times.

My mother still has the doll at her house, still sitting on a shelf. My daughter has asked about her and we have explained how special and delicate she is. We have let her hold her, but not play with her. So when I learned that Aurora had recently released a line of Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls I was really excited!

These dolls are also handmade, but they are so well made that they are ready to be played with! I received a Raggedy Ann doll to check out in person and I am so thrilled with the quality. It's very similar to the doll of my childhood, with fantastic detail on the face, and the trademark yarn hair. She looks very vintage but in a clean and crisp way. She's a doll that invites you to play with her, and I so thrilled to be able to hand this one over to my daughter for hours of imaginative fun!

I think this is so fabulous to bring back a beloved classic character and her brother. The traditional rag dolls are familiar across generations since they date back to the early 1900's as dolls and characters in children's books.  For many, this is a wonderful opportunity to bridge a generation gap and share a toy that parents and grandparents played with and loved. What a wonderful way to share and bond with your child!

Aurora has worked with Hasbro to bring these characters back into the arms of children. They are designed for children 18 months and older and there is a nice selection available. The classic Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls are available in 8", 12", 16" and 25". They also have a Fancy Pals style for Raggedy Ann in a butterfly or Red Ribbon design.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for four holiday styles. Raggedy Ann "Chilly Chic" and "Santa's Helper" and Raggedy Andy "Chilly Chic" and "Santa" will be 16" in size and have a SRP of $27. What a great holiday gift!

You can learn more about the Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy line from Aurora, as well as check out the rest of their quality products, at their website. You can also visit Aurora on Facebook for news and updates.  And you can start your holiday shopping now and save with FREE Shipping on orders over $50 until August 31st, 2012. Use promo code: YooHoo12

* I received a Raggedy Ann doll from Aurora for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Smurfs and The Magic Flute - on DVD August 14th

FROM FABULOUS FILMS               
Distributed by Shout! Factory 

Smurf fans rejoice! On August 14, 2012, the original full-length animated feature The Smurfs and the Magic Flute will finally debut on DVD for the first time in the U.S. from Fabulous Films. Based on the original comic book story by the same name, this beloved animated movie classic debuted in U.S theaters in 1983 and has remained a fan favorite for more than twenty-five years. Delivering wholesome family entertainment, The Smurfs and the Magic Flute DVD also features bonus content including an image gallery, animated menus, a glossary of Smurf terms, The Smurf Story, a character guide, and an About the Smurfs and the Magic Flute featurette. A must-have for Smurfs fans, collectors, animation enthusiasts and a new generation of kids, this collectible DVD is priced to own at $14.93 SRP and available for pre-order now.

In The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, a magical flute is just what Court Jester Peewit needs to play delightful tunes that make everyone in the kingdom dance — until the dancing turns dangerous. Sir Johan tries in vain to recover the musical instrument, but a thief named McCreep beats him to it, intending to use the flute to steal gold from the King’s subjects. It’s the Smurfs to the rescue when Papa Smurf devises a plan to create a second magical flute, and Peewit and Sir Johan go on a great adventure to find McCreep, win the musical duel and save the kingdom!

DVD Bonus Content
Image Gallery
Glossary of Smurf terms
The Smurf StoryCharacter Guide
About The Smurfs and the Magic Flute
Animated Menus Technical Information

The Smurfs and the Magic Flute DVD
Street Date: August 14, 2012
Running Time: 71 min.
Aspect Ratio: 4 x 3
Audio: stereo
Rating: Rated G

Ahh, what a walk down memory lane. I have to say, I truly enjoy the fact that so many shows from my childhood are either still around or making a comeback. It makes it even more enjoyable when I can sit down with my daughter and tell her that I used to watch this show when I was a little girl!

Having The Smurfs on DVD is great! My daughter took to them immediately and was very interested. So now when she requests them I can pop this DVD in. The Smurfs are very much as I remembered them, with each one having such personality! They are always full of bright ideas and using their brains (and magic) to get through tricky situations. With Papa Smurf leading the group, and all his faithful Smurfs to follow, they are sure to save the day!

* I received this DVD for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dora's Fantastic Gymnastics Adventure - DVD Review

Oh how we love Dora in our house! This series has been a part of our lives for over a year now. My daughter knows all the characters by name and gets very excited when the show comes on. So when I learned that the end of July brought the release of a DVD with an entire episode devoted to Dora's adventure with gymnastics I knew it would be a hit with my little one!

This summer brought something brand new into my daughter's life... the Summer Olympics. While my husband watched any event at any time, I was mostly interested in the gymnastic events. This is the first time my daughter was really introduced to the sport of gymnastics and what it's all about. We would sit on the couch together and she would watch the girls fly through the air. She kept telling me how she wanted to be able to do that someday.

We sat down a couple of weeks later and watched Dora as she prepared to perform in her very own gymnastics performance, and once again the excitement appeared in my daughter's eyes. As many Dora fans know, things can't usually go off without a hitch. Especially not when Swiper the Fox is near the excitement. He always manages to get his paws on something he shouldn't. In this adventure he manages to swipe Dora's special rainbow ribbon that she needs in order to perform her ribbon dance!

As with all of Dora's adventures, this episode and the other 2 (A Ribbon for Pinto and Swiper's Favorite Things) on the disk are filled with engaging and entertaining learning opportunities for kids. Your child is in on the action as Dora brings them along. She frequently asks your child for help in figuring out which way to go, or figuring out what shape or number comes next. This gives your child the opportunity to participate and use their knowledge to help Dora and Boots solve problems, make decisions, and save the day.

I would highly recommend this DVD for kids who love Dora. It's engaging and entertaining. We had a blast watching it and we look forward to catching more episodes on Nick Jr.

*I received a copy of this DVD for review purposes. No other compensation was involved and all opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, August 10, 2012

LunchBlox Sandwich Kit by Rubbermaid Review

School is right around the corner and Rubbermaid is on the ball! They have recently released a new product that will make lunch preparations easier and more organized. The LunchBlox Sandwich Kit really has food-on-the-go in mind with it's design.

The containers are designed to perfectly fit foods commonly carried away from home. The containers stack on top of each other to keep things neat and organized. The kit includes a specifically designed Blue Ice pack to help keep things cool. The containers are microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe allowing you to have things at any temperature! And they are BPA-free.

The kit contains one sandwich container, two snack containers, a side container, and an ice pack.

I really love this concept. I think it's great to keep things organized and separate. I love the ice pack keeping things cool, and that it's located in the middle to cover the top and bottom layers. Rubbermaid also sells the containers separately, so you can configure your stacks to meet your needs. I think this is a quick and easy way to provide the proper portions with a variety of foods, whether it's for yourself or your kids.

The containers are easy to open and easy to stack. It's also very convenient that they can just be tossed in the dishwasher so you can have them ready for the next day. It also seems very durable, so I think it will last us for quite some time. I think this is a great product, and for $12.99 it's not a bad price.

You can learn more about the Lunchblox Kit on the Rubbermaid website.

*I received a LunchBlox Kit from Rubbermaid free of charge for review purposes. However, all opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Box Tops for Education! Win a $25 Walmart Gift Card

School is almost back in session, which means it's time to start stocking the cabinet with your kids favorite favorite snack! We make a conscious effort in my house to look for products that feature Box Tops for Education. My daughter's school participates in this great program and it's an easy way to help them earn money for things they need in the classrooms.

As a teacher, I have seen first hand the impact that these Box Tops can make. The school I currently work at even has a competition between classes to see who can collect the most. There are more than 100 items that have Box Tops on them, including Cheerios, Nature Valley, Totinos, and many more.

Right now at Walmart you can participating products will have 4 Box Tops on them! This is a great opportunity for you to stock up on foods you love and Box Tops for your school. You can also head on over to Walmart's Facebook page to learn how you can earn even more Box Tops for your school!

We had a great time checking out all the products with Box Tops on them and stocking the cabinets. My daughter picked out Cheerios for breakfast, we grabbed some Pillsbury biscuits and some Betty Crocker baking supplies. Then we headed to the snack section to stock up on fruit snacks. It's easy to shop for a variety of items that all support Box Tops!

One lucky reader will win a $25 Gift Card to Walmart. This will make stocking up even easier!

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I received a $25 Walmart Gift Certificate provided by General Mills and Walmart through My Blog Spark. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Lorax - Now Available on Blu-ray and DVD

AUGUST 7, 2012 

Plus Get Three Never-Before-Seen Mini Movies
Available only onBlu-ray™ Combo Packs for the Ultimate Experience

Universal City, California, June 5, 2012 – The colorful and captivating world of Dr. Seuss bursts onto the screen as never before on August 7, 2012 in the hilarious and captivating adventure, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.  Available on Blu-ray™ 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray™ Combo Pack -- both featuring DVD, Digital Copy and UltraViolet™ so you can watch it anytime, anywhere -- Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is non-stop family fun that includes three delightfully entertaining mini movies not shown in theaters,available only on the Blu-ray™ Combo Packs.  The film will also be available on DVD and Digital Download.   To view a trailer of the new mini movies, visit

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax transports viewers into a fantastical landscape imagined by Dr. Seuss and vividly brought to life by Chris Meledandri and his acclaimed filmmaking team at Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me). Directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) from a screenplay adapted by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul (Despicable Me, HOP, Horton Hears a Who) from the 1971 children’s classic, the film is an imaginative journey that begins in the town of Thneedville, where a boy searches for the one thing he knows will win the heart of his dream girl. But in order find it, he must discover the story of the Lorax, the often grumpy but loveable protector  of Truffula Valley, in an exciting adventure filled with comedy and heart that USA Today’s Claudia Puig calls, “The right blend of funny, silly, and sweet.”

My Thoughts:
I have been waiting for this movie to come out on DVD since it hit theaters. I grew up reading Dr. Seuss books and now I share them with my daughter. We have been reading the Lorax for a couple of reasons. The first is that I feel Dr. Seuss is a genius. He truly had a way with words and creating a world outside of ours that is fun, inviting, and enchanting. With characters that have huge personalities and may look a little strange, he appeals to minds young and old. The second reason is that the book is filled with important messages. Perhaps the most important of all... be kind to our trees because we need them.

So I was thrilled to have the chance to check out The Lorax on DVD! We settled in for a family movie night and my daughter put up a huge stink. She did not want to watch this movie. I decided to put it in anyway and see if she settled down. Well, within the first few minutes of the film you are brought into a happy town called Thneedville in a bustling musical number. A land with no trees where you inflate your bushes and buy your air. A land where when you swim in the water you come out glowing. A land where everyone is happy and they aren't even aware of what they are missing. Well, in that musical number my daughter became enchanted and her eyes were glued to the screen for the rest of the film. Thankfully there were a ton of bonus features at the end to keep the fun going even longer.

The entire family loved this movie! The characters were likable and some even adorable (I loved those little guys that looked like bears...especially the really chubby one). The story line flowed really well, even with switching between the past and the present to learn the story told by the Onceler. And the messages were powerful. The biggest message throughout the film is the importance of trees and how quickly and easily we can destroy our world by cutting them down and not replacing them. But there was also a message about the young boy, Ted, that one person really can make a difference. That one seed can change the world.

I would highly recommend this film for a fun family movie night. I think it will appeal to a nice range of ages, as y husband, my daughter, and myself were all fully engaged. My daughter has already requested a second screening tonight!

* I received this DVD for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic: Royal Pony Wedding Review



Love is in the air… it’s time to celebrate a royal wedding! My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Royal Pony Wedding is coming to DVD on August 7, 2012 from Shout! Factory in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Royal Pony Wedding features 5 episodes that every pony will love, including “A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1,” “A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2,” “Hearts And Hooves Day,” “Sweet & Elite,” and “The Best Night Ever.” Bonus features will include a coloring sheet and more! Girls can also act out imaginative stories of their own with delightful MY LITTLE PONY wedding-themed figures, play-sets, and vehicles from Hasbro.

When it’s announced that Twilight Sparkle’s older brother, Shining Armor, is set to marry Princess Celestia’s niece, Cadence, all the ponies in Equestria should be celebrating. But there’s one pony in Ponyville who’s not so thrilled with the news — Twilight Sparkle! Why is the young unicorn so concerned? And will the royal wedding go off without a hitch? Find out in the two-part special, and then join us for the perfect after-party — three more My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episodes.

Friendship Is Magic episodes, all included in the first-ever DVD release of My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Royal Pony Wedding! My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Royal Pony Wedding is priced at $14.97 and is now available for pre-order at

The My Little Pony Friendship is Magic series is currently airing on The HUB TV Network in the US.
Total Running Time: +/- 2 hours

I remember watching My Little Ponies when I was a little girl. I am so glad that they are still around and are a show that my daughter and I can sit down and enjoy together. We try and catch them on The Hub, but now that we have this DVD we can watch them anytime!

My daughter and I had a great time watching this movie together. I love that the cartoon still holds true to it's reputation from the 90's, but with a modern twist on the art and design. The characters are still loyal and true to each other, promoting messages and friendship and working together. These messages are important for kids to see portrayed through shows that they enjoy.

The DVD is filled with great music that the kids really seem to enjoy. But I think that what has gotten to me the most about this DVD is it's ability to reach and entertain a variety of ages. I was truly enjoying watching this cartoon with my daughter. The humor was enjoyable rather than immature. I also felt like My Little Pony had really taken a turn toward adventure. There was a lot of action that made it seem like this movie would also appeal to boys.

I would definitely say that's it worth checking this DVD out!

I received a copy of this DVD for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Toga! Toga! Toga!

Halloween is right around the corner! I know in my house we start thinking about costumes months before the big day. But for some reason the focus is always on my daughter. We spend weeks looking at costumes online and asking her what she wants to be. She changes her mind pretty much every week. But, we still have a great time narrowing the selection down and ultimately picking THE costume.

My husband and I are often left with no costume at all. I then find myself running around at the last minute to try and throw something together. Well, this year we have a big family party the weekend before Halloween and we need to dress to impress. Of course I have a whole new challenge this year... finding a costume that will fit over my baby bump!

I asked my husband to dress up with me. I always loved the idea of going as a couple. So we started searching to see what options we had. Well, the answer is... many. They have a ton of great costumes for adults. And lots of them can be couples costumes!

So we headed over to take a look at the Greek Costumes to look at togas. I mean really, what can you think of that would hide a baby bump better? And they have a really nice selection with variety. They have sexy ones and more traditional ones. This year I think I will go the more traditional route. But my eye was truly caught by Venus the Goddess of Love. How pretty is this costume?

For the men they have everything from a basic toga to a selection of Greek Gods. They even had a great one that caught my husbands eye... Hercules!

Now is definitely the time to start looking and planning. The prices are great and you can have the perfect costume delivered right to your door for only $3.99 shipping.

Learn more by visiting's website and on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Hello to a Better Body

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Hello to a Better Body!
Weight Loss and Fitness for Women Over 50
Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Suzanne Koven of Harvard Medical School. Women over 50 fight menopause, creaky joints, busy lives, and other factors that interfere with their quests for weight control and fitness. These advice-filled stories from women over 50 who have figured out how to get fit are combined with Dr. Koven's practical advice and medical information. You won't have any more excuses!
I don't fit into the over 50 category yet, but I was excited to check this book out and then share it with my mom. My mom has been complaining about how getting older has affected her body over the last few years. So I found this book to be very interesting because of the way the information from Dr. Koven was presented.
One of my mom's biggest arguments when I try and give her advice on losing weight, eating better, or exercising more is that she doesn't have the time to get out and exercise and she is in a routine with my dad in terms of the foods they eat. Not the best excuses, but she keeps bringing up the can't teach an old dog new tricks saying. So this book was just what she needed. 
Dr. Koven has tons of simple ideas on how to make minimal changes in your daily life that can go a long way. And then having some stories from real women to support those ideas and help to motivate my mom. My mom is now on a path to do more walking, eat more vegetables, and get more sleep at night. Small changes that can go a long way!

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.

Baby Kicks

Last week I was a nervous wreck because I would feel the baby move a lot one day and then not move at all the next. Of course I turned to the ever dangerous Google. I find that Googling during pregnancy can do one of two things.... calm you down or completely freak you out. This time it seemed to calm me down.

The majority of people reported that it was still early (about 20 weeks) and that the baby was a.) still very small and b.) sleeping for very long stretches of the day. Phew. Of course there were a few who made me a little uneasy by saying I should high tail it the ER.

Well, I didn't run to the ER, but I did mention it to my doctor. It seems the majority was correct and I will begin to feel him more and more in the coming weeks. This weekend proved that to be true! He's bouncing around in there like a tiny kangaroo. It was strong enough last night that my husband even felt one of the kicks!

Do you remember the first baby kick? How far along were you?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Carmex Review and Giveaway!

I am a huge fan of Carmex and absolutely love being a part of the Blog Squad. Why? Because I get to check out the latest products, tell you all about them, and share them with you! So when I learned that Carmex had introduced a the new Pomegranate Stick I was excited to jump on board and give it a try!

To my delight a fantastic package arrived straight from Carmex. Inside I found 5 flavors, including the new Pomegranate and a bright and fun Carmex tote. With summer well under way I was excited to put the sticks and the tote to use.

What I love most about Carmex is how you can really feel them working. The Pomegranate stick goes on smooth without feeling greasy. It left my lips feeling soft and healthy all day, even when we were out playing in the sun and sand. Each of the Carmex sticks also contain SPF 15, so you are getting added protection from the sun. And the Pomegranate has a fun and fruity scent and taste. It's really perfect for summer.

I use Carmex products throughout the year, during all seasons. I find that they protect my lips really well, go on nice and light, and have enough variety to make me happy all the time. It also seems to really last and I don't feel the need to reapply as often as I do with other brands. Carmex is easy to find at most major retailers.

Now here's the best part... one lucky reader will win the same kit that I received from Carmex!

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I received these products free of charge for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is coming soon to DVD

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Here Comes the Bride
101 Stories of Love, Laughter and Family
The wedding day, and each day leading up to it, is a special and exciting time. In this collection of 101 heartwarming and hilarious stories, brides and grooms, families and friends share their memories of the big day. With stories about everything from the proposal, to the planning, to actual wedding day events, the honeymoon, and all the joys and frustrations in between, this book will delight and encourage any bride or newlywed. A great gift for bridal showers, engagements, and weddings!
I am a sucker for a good wedding story! This summer we have attended several weddings and they have made me smile and reminisce about my own wedding that was six years ago. I am quite the romantic and get a thrill out of hearing about other people's love stories.
This Chicken Soup for the Soul book was an easy read for me. Each short story was fun, romantic, or even humorous as I had a glimpse into the most special time in someone's life. I have to admit that some of the stories I liked the best were where things didn't go quite as planned. No wedding is perfect... mine wasn't as the DJ played the wrong father-daughter dance song. Something so trivial seemed like such a huge deal that day! I still danced with my dad, but it wasn't to the words I had imagined... so the day might as well have been completely ruined! Ahh, the emotions of a bride.
This is a great book for a new bride-to-be... or even an old softy like me!

I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tinkerbell Is Coming to DVD Soon in Secret of the Wings!

Download Activities!

Secret of the Wings is available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and HD Digital October 23rd.