Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Purex Plus Oxi Review and Giveaway

We are big fans of Purex in our house. We have been using Purex laundry detergent for the past several months and have been very happy with the price and the performance. So we were definitely on board to try out their latest product, Purex Plus Oxi.

"Purex plus Oxi is the most powerful Pirex detergent available. In fact, it works against over 101 different stains!" With a three year old in the house we are no strangers to stains. And sometimes we don't even know what the stain is because she comes home from school with it! So we are often treating stains with a specific stain treating liquid. Now with Purex plus Oxi I can use my detergent to pretreat and then wash. All I have to do is pour a little Purex plus Oxi onto the stain, rub the fabric together and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then I can toss it in the wash with the rest of my laundry and add detergent as I normally would.
Using Purex plus Oxi does three things for me. It allows me to purchase affordable detergent that treats my stains and leaves my laundry fresh and clean. It also saves me room in my laundry room to only need one product for stain treatment and regular washing. We have put our Purex plus Oxi to the test on stains from juice, chocolate, paint and more... and my daughter's clothes have come out bright and clean.

Be sure to visit for additional information. Purex is also hosting a fabulous sweepstakes! Click HERE for your chance to win $1,000!

*Purex provided me with a sample of Purex plus Oxi so I could review it. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Boo at the Zoo and Ascarium!

Boo at the Zoo Returns to the 
Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo 

Celebrate a New York Halloween tradition at WCS’s Bronx Zoo Safe, family-friendly activities include: 
The Haunted Habitat Mansion   
Creepy Hollows Hayride   
Costume Parade   
Music, Magic, and MORE
Master Carver Pumpkin carving demonstrations

Boo at the Zoo festivities run weekends 10/20 & 10/21 and 10/27 & 10/28!

Boo at the Zoo returns to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo for five full weekends of Halloween-themed family entertainment and activities. Attractions and activities embrace the spirit of the season while highlighting wildlife and conservation. 

Children 12 and under wearing a Halloween costume will receive free general admission with one paid adult general admission. All Boo at the Zoo activities are included with the price of general admission with the exception of the hayride and haunted mansion.. The Creepy Hollows Hayride and the Haunting at Habitat Mansion walk-through adventure are included with the purchase of a Total Experience Ticket. 

Guests are encouraged to visit for a complete schedule of keeper chats, animal enrichment sessions, and family activities.

Want more great Halloween fun? 

Ascarium: A Pirate Adventure, brings a new thematic to the NY Aquarium as a part of this season’s Halloween celebration. A range of pirate themed, kid-friendly, not so scary experiences will be part of this year’s festivities to continue the tradition of providing Brooklyn and area families with a great destination for their Halloween celebration. 

Ascarium combines the fun of this iconic holiday with the NY Aquarium’s mission of connecting people to wildlife. Ascarium will run weekends in October (October 20-21 and 27-28). ONLY TWO WEEKENDS LEFT!

This year’s activities will include: ·         
Haunted Seafari; The Tragic Tale of Captain Paul Looter·         
Pirate School! ·         
Musical Performance ·         
The Sea Gypsies: Dancing Pirate Gypsies·         
Spooky Pirate Storytelling, Mindreading and Juggling·         
Astounding Pirate Feats·         
Pirate Tales·         
Pirate Games of Skill·         
Discover Creatures of the Deep ·         
Pirate Crafts·         
4-D Theater -  Curse of Skull Rock·         
Treat Stations 

Guests are encouraged to visit for a complete schedule shows and family activities.

Disclosure: My blog is participating in a program for the Bronx Zoo/NY Aquarium. As a part of this program we have received merchandise for placement of this post related to programming.

Ornaments with Love

Christmas is right around the corner and I am beyond excited! Every year the holiday season becomes more and more exciting as my daughter truly grasps the sites and sounds of the holiday. And this year we will be able to add the joy of a newborn baby into the mix! So needless to say, I am in full holiday swing!

Our family loves Christmas ornaments. Every year mom searches high and low for the perfect ornament for each member of the family to add to the tree. I am personally a very big fan of the personalized ornaments. Ornaments with Love is a great site that has a great selection to meet every interest and personality. And they can be personalized for free!

I was very lucky to be asked to check out one of their ornaments up close and in person for this review. I decided to get my daughter something special to commemorate this year. Since this is her first year at her new dance school I decided to get her a personalized ballerina Christmas ornament.

I am so pleased with my selection and the entire experience. My order arrived quickly and packaged nicely so that the ornament was protected. The name and date and clear and large enough to easily be read. Now we have a keepsake to hang on our tree every year and fondly look back at our daughter's first year taking dance classes. She is going to love this ornament, and we are going to treasure it for years to come.

I would highly recommend you check out Ornaments with Love. Their selection is fabulous, their service is great, and their products are high quality. I will definitely be looking to them for personalized ornaments in the future.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Secret of the Wings - Now Available on DVD and Blu-ray!

Now Available!

My daughter has been a big fan of Tinker Bell and all her fairy friends from Pixie Hollow for quite some time now. Each movie has brought a new adventure and taught us new things about Tinker Bell and her friends. So you can only imagine the excitement when Secret of the Wings arrived on our doorstep for review!

My daughter was very aware that there was a new Tinker Bell movie coming out because she had seen it in commercials. But she had no idea that she was going to get a sneak peek! So as soon as it arrived she was anxious to pop it in and make a movie day of it. It was a rainy day here, so it worked out perfectly.

You can always count on Disney to truly bring magic to life. This movie really demonstrates that with the incredible scenery. The characters are really brought to life with bright and vivid colors, and the beauty of the winter woods took you to a magical place.

As always, Tinker Bell is often to curious for her own good. So crossing into the forbidden winter woods doesn't go smoothly. Tinker Bell discovers something about herself that encourages her to travel deeper and deeper into the winter woods, even though it is dangerous. But this is just the beginning of a truly heartwarming tale.

What Tinker Bell discovers in this movie is something more magical than all the pixie dust in the world, it's that she has a sister, Periwinkle! She also encounters some new fairy friends, but don't worry.... the old favorites make their appearances as well!

Aside from being a fun and magical film, it is also filled with valuable lessons for kids and adults alike. You witness a sisterly bond that defines unconditional love and a connection that is truly magical. You also learn about just how strong and caring Tinker Bell is. She is willing to take chances and make sacrifices in order to protect those that she loves. While her new sister is instantly important to her, she doesn't forget her friends or where she has come from. Family and community are so important to Tinker Bell, and that is so important to teach our children.

I would highly recommend checking out Disney's Secret of the Wings. It's a fun movie that the entire family can sit down and enjoy together. It is filled with adventure, but also heartwarming to the point where you might need to keep some tissues near by.

Download Activities!

* I received a copy of this movie for review purposes. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Soul - Married Life

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

101 Inspirational Stories about Fun, Family and Wedded Bliss

Marriage is a wonderful institution, and in this fresh collection of stories, husbands and wives share their personal, funny, and quirky stories from the trenches. This book will inspire and delight readers with its entertaining and heartwarming stories about fun, family, and wedded bliss, Whether newly married or married for years and years, readers will find laughter and inspiration in these 101 stories of love, romance, fun, and making it work.

My Thoughts:
Ah, wedded bliss. I remember the giddy feeling of being engaged. The excitement of starting a life together. The illusion of playing house like a couple out of the 1950's. Leave it to Beaver was the standard I wanted to live up to. 

Then we got married and reality sunk in. Don't get me wrong, married life is great. I get to see my best friend every day, I have someone who helps around the house, I don't feel lonely at night. It's great, but it's not easy. 

We have been married for 6 years now and it doesn't seem that long at all. I feel very lucky to be in a strong, happy marriage with someone I truly enjoy spending my time with. But we definitely have our ups and downs. So I really enjoyed reading this book and entering into the lives of other married couples. It made me realize that I am very lucky, that my husband is a great guy, that our ups and downs are normal, and that marriage is work.

I loved reading stories about new marriages and the unforeseen challenges, and old marriages that have survived countless trials and tribulations only to come out stronger. The book truly is inspiring and comforting for couples young and old. This would make a great wedding shower or anniversary gift! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

SodaStream - Review

I never really imagined myself making my own soda. And even when I learned about the SodaStream Soda Maker I had my doubts. Could you really make soda at home that tasted as good, if not better, than what you could buy at the store? And what would making my own soda offer me in terms of benefits over just buying it? Isn't running into the store more convenient than making my own?

All I can say is that SodaStream has changed the way I look at soda and my shopping habits. I had no idea that this machine would offer soda that tasted so good and took such little time. Not to mention all the ways it has saved me money and energy.

A major plus with the SodaStream is that you can make soda as you need it. You don't need to have it sitting around the house taking up space. We don't drink soda on a daily basis, so buying a bottle and having it open often leads to waste as it goes flat. With the SodaStream I can make a reasonable amount of soda the day that I need it and enjoy it at it's freshest. 

And now SodaStream has even more to offer in terms of drinking options. I was really excited to learn that they had flavors to add to your water to make the yummiest sparkling water. And now they are offering Country Time and Crystal Light, giving me even more opportunities to use my SodaStream and have some variety on hand.

SodaStream has saved us a lot of time and money. I no longer have to lug 12 packs of soda to and from the car. I'm not throwing out a quarter of a bottle of soda that has gone flat. And I'm not creating nearly as much recycling. I can use the same bottle over and over again as I create tons of refreshing drinks.

These drinks are also offering some health benefits. For me, eliminating aspartame in my diet soda is huge! That is one of the main reasons that I cut back on diet soda. So knowing that SodaStream flavors use Splenda for sweetening makes it much sweeter!

The best part of this, however, is the fun that it has brought into our home. My daughter gets so excited when we are having people over or it's a special pizza night and she knows she gets to have some soda. She goes to pick out what the flavor of the night will be and gets so excited when there is a new one to pick from. Then she helps me to make the soda. Her favorite part is when we press the button to carbonate and it makes the buzz sound. It's a hands on experience that she really enjoys and makes the night a little more special and fun!

People do seem skeptical when they come over and I whip up a bottle of soda. I am seeing that more and more people have heard about SodaStream, but haven't had the opportunity to try it. So I am excited to give them their first taste and see what they think. Everyone has been pleasantly surprised by the flavor and very impressed with the benefits that this machine offers. 

I would recommend you check out SodaStream and all the flavors and options available. You might just find that it would make a great addition to your home!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Minted Giveaway!

The holidays are really coming up quickly this year! The stores are decorated, the ads are starting to come out with the holiday deals, and the kids are starting to plan their letters to Santa. But a big thing on my mind is the holiday card.

Ever since having my daughter, photo cards have been my thing. I search high and low for the perfect card to go with the perfect picture. After all, this is the one time a year that many of our distant friends and family get an updated photo of our family.

Minted is a great place to look for the perfect card for your family. They have a wide variety of Christmas photo cards, non-photo holiday cards, and more. There is something for everyone!

What better way to kick off the holiday season then by winning a $50 gift certificate to Minted. You will also receive free shipping! This will definitely come in handy this holiday season.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I have always felt very strongly about being CPR certified. My dad is a fireman and he has always encouraged us to become certified and keep up our certifications. He feels that you never know when you could use it to save a life. Being certified became even more important to me when I became a teacher and was entrusted with the care of other people's children. But nothing made it more important than when I became a mother myself. It only takes a second for an emergency to arise, and the best thing you can do is to be prepared.

CPR and first aid training and certification gives you the skills to be able to respond to an emergency situation while waiting for emergency responders.  Those moments could make the difference between life and death. I have always been trained and certified at a class, but I find it very interesting to learn that you can take CPR training classes online. This is especially convenient for those who are being recertified after having already taken a class. is a great place to go to find information about the different types of certifications, as well as first aid training.

I would strongly recommend that you visit to learn the benefits of being certified in CPR. They have lots of resources for you to learn about CPR and first aid training. They also provide information about the history of CPR and what it stands for. This is valuable information and training that could save a life.

*This is a sponsored post, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Jake Saves Bucky

On DVD Today!

Yo ho, let's go! Set sail with Jake and his crew on a full-length, high speed adventure on the high seas. According to the Never Land Pirate Code, Jake and his crew must race Bucky against the Jolly Roger and the sneaky Captain Hook. But if Bucky loses, he'l belong to Hook forever. Of course, Hook uses every trick in the book and wins the race. But, Jake and his crew might have a way to get Bucky back. With the help of Peter Pan, the young pirates embark on an adventure across Never Landthat includes getting past a fire-breathing dragon. With your help, Jake's crew can save Bucky from the devious Captain Hook. In addition, enjoy four more exciting Jake and the Never Land Pirate episodes. Overflowing with music, swashbuckling action and seafaring fun, Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Jake Saves Bucky proves that being a hero comes from teamwork, determination and friendship!

My Thoughts:
My daughter and I are huge fans of Disney Jr. It's the channel we turn to first when we are looking for a fun show to watch together. That is where I was introduced to Jake and the Never Land Pirates for the first time. I was impressed with this show since the first time I saw it and my daughter has been a fan ever since.

Jake and the Never Land Pirates focuses on three friends, Jake, Cubby and Izzy. Oh, and of course, their trusty parrot, Skully.  I love the dynamic of this team. They truly act as a team and always put their friendship first. They are constantly finding themselves running into trouble with the mischievous Captain Hook and his side kick, Mr. Smee. But they take their viewers along for the adventure, enlisting them in help solving puzzles. They work together and earn their gold doubloons for solving pirate problems.

My daughter thinks the characters are fun and often laughs at the sneaky but silly Captain Hook. So I knew she would really enjoy a full length adventure with her friends. And having Peter Pan show up was an added bonus! She was engaged with the show from beginning to end and was anxious to tell her daddy all about how she went on an adventure to save Bucky from the mean Captain Hook.

I think this is a great show to share with your preschoolers to teach them about friendship, working together, right and wrong, and getting some educational skills along the way.

Download Printable Activities!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Crane Humidifier - Mya the Monkey

With a winter baby on the way, one of the top items on my list for the nursery is a humidifier. Fortunately I have some experience with humidifiers already, as we have had one for my daughter since she was a baby. We felt that a humidifier was important because of the health benefits. In the winter the air in the house can be very dry. Having a cool mist humidifier provides enough moisture to ease dry coughs and help loosen nasal congestion. These were two symptoms we were seeing in my daughter during the cold months, so we began researching and decided on a Crane Cool Mist Humidifier.

I have to say that we have been very happy with her Penguin and have used it for several years now. So when I was given the wonderful opportunity to check out one of Crane's newest designs, Mya the Monkey, I jumped at the chance to add this cute little critter to our nursery.


  • Ultrasonic cool mist operation
  • Increase air moisture for easier breathing and a good night's sleep
  • Relieves cough, cold and flu symptoms, including nasal congestion, dry cough, sinus irritation, nose bleeds, dry skin
  • 1 gallon water tank runs whisper quiet up to 24 hours
  • Mists up to 2.1 gallons of moisture per day
  • Effectively humidifies rooms up to 250 square feet
  • Auto shutoff safety sensor
  • Uses less energy than a standard household light bulb
  • Does not require a filter
All these facts are what helped to sell us on the Cool Mist Humidifiers offered by Crane. But another selling point is the cuteness factor! I love that you don't have to sacrifice fun for function. With the variety of animals and characters that they offer, you are sure to find one that looks great in your child's room. My daughter loves her Penguin because of how cute it is. She doesn't really understand the benefits it is providing her with, but she reminds us to turn it on because she loves it so much.

Mya and all her friends are easy to use and easy to clean. I love how low maintenance they are, because I barely have time for extra jobs with one child and can only imagine how busy life will be with two. I am also a big fan of how quiet it is. You can barely even tell when it's running. 

While I know my readers value my opinions, and I know I wouldn't steer you wrong on something as important as helping to keep your kids comfortable, Crane has been recognized all on it's own. Crane was listed in the November Consumer Report Issue Best Product of the Year. Under the category "Best choices for humidifying a single room," Crane was listed 3 times in the top 8 of 25. Now that's impressive!

I would highly recommend that you check out Mya the Monkey and all of the other fun options available from Crane. They are affordable at about only $45.99. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

In Celebration Of
Universal Studio's 100th Anniversary,
One of the Most Beloved Films of all Time Comes to
Blu-ray for the First Time Ever

October 9, 2012

When an imaginative boy meets a lost alien, it is the beginning of one of cinema's most endearing friendships, as Elliot (Henry Thomas) helps the marvelous creature he calls E.T. find his way back home before the government agents can capture him.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, AcademyAward®-winning director Steven Spielberg’s magical adventure, celebrates its 30th Anniversary with its first-ever release on Blu-ray™ October 9, 2012. Featuring an all-new, digitally remastered picture that delivers six times the resolution of DVD, as well as all-new 7.1 surround sound, the E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Anniversary Edition Blu-ray™ Combo Pack includes the 1982 theatrical movie, an all-new interview with director Steven Spielberg, and “The E.T. Journals” featuring never-before-seen footage from the set of the film. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack also includes UltraViolet™, a DVD and a Digital Copy of the film, offering fans a chance to relive the mystery, laughter and wonder of the iconic movie anytime, anywhere on the platform of their choice.

In 1982, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial became the biggest blockbuster of the year, ranking #1 over 16 different weekends. Even today, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial remains the fourth most successful movie of all-time1 in the United States. Nominated for nine Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Writing and Best Screenplay, the film took home four statuettes for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Sound and Best Music for John Williams’ (Jaws) memorable score. The unforgettable cast includes the adorable Drew Barrymore (He’s Just Not That Into You, Charlie’s Angels), Henry Thomas (Dear John, Legends of the Fall), Dee Wallace (10, “Sons and Daughters”) and Peter Coyote (“Law & Order: LA,” Jagged Edge).
My Thoughts:
Wow, this was like a step back in time. E.T. was released just before I was born and was a household name throughout my childhood. We grew up with a VHS copy of this classic and would watch it frequently for our family movie nights. It is a movie that I am excited to add to my collection and share with my family for years to come.

E.T. is one of those movies that truly keeps you on the edge of your seat. You experience so many emotions throughout the film, from a little bit of fear (what is this strange creature and what does he want) to adventure to sadness and joy. Watching Elliot from his first encounter with this creature to his last is like watching a love story. Their friendship endures so much, yet he remains faithful to helping E.T. and getting him home. Have the tissues handy!

My husband and I loved taking a trip back to our childhood with E.T. It was like visiting old friends and reliving the adventure all over again. This is sure to be a hit with the entire family!

The Great Mouse Detective on Blu-ray and HD Digital

Available for the First Time on Blu-ray and HD Digital on October 9, 2012

On October 9, 2012, fans can experience Disney's greatest listt mystery, in High Definition picture and sound, and go on a great big adventure as "The Great Mouse Detective" Mystery in the Mist Edition arrives on 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack and HD Digital. When the diabolical Professor Ratigan kidnaps London's master toymaker, the brilliant Basil of Baker Street and his trusted sidekick Dawson try to elude the ultimate trap and foil the perfect crime. This family classic on Disney Blu-ray proves big heroes come in small packages!

Rated G and approximately 74 minutes
My Thoughts:
I was very excited to gather the family around for a fun family movie night with "The Great Mouse Detective." I had this movie on VHS when I was younger, but my husband had never seen it and it was brand new to my daughter. I thought this would be an especially fun movie for the family because of how full of adventure and excitement it is.

My daughter loved the characters. She thought the mice were really cute and especially took to Olivia (the toymaker's daughter) and Basil's funny sidekick, Dawson. She really enjoyed the humor and adventure and got up and danced to some of the lively music. I was very pleased that she took a step outside of her typical princess movies and was able to enjoy a movie that was really very different from what she's used to.

My husband and I both agreed that this movie is being released for a reason, because it's good. It is something the entire family can enjoy. With action, adventure, danger, and plenty of humor it had us all engaged throughout. I would highly recommend this film for a wonderful family movie night with boys and girls of all ages... and parents, too!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope and Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey

Chicken Soup for the Soul
Hope and Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey

Surviving and Thriving During and After Your Diagnosis and Treatment

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Julie Silver of Harvard Medical School. The stories in this book from women with breast cancer and their family members, along with the up-to-date medical information provided, will give you inspiration, strength and hope. This book will educate and comfort you and will serve as a support group from diagnosis through treatment to rehabilitation and recovery.

My Thoughts:
There's not much I can say about this book. I felt it very appropriate to share this with you during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It seems like everywhere you look people are being touched by breast cancer, whether it's a friend, family member, or yourself. This books is simply powerful. I feel incredibly fortunate that I am a healthy woman, but there is always a fear that lingers in your mind about the power of the unknown future. I am glad to have had the opportunity to check this book out and know about it. Should the occasion arrive where someone close to me is touched by this terrible disease, I will reach out with this book of hope. 

The best part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books is that you know there is a real person on the other side of every story. It makes you feel like you're not alone. You're connecting with people you've never met on a whole new level. This book shares stories, gives advice, and leaves the reader feeling hopeful. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

To Sprinkle or Not to Sprinkle

When we found out we were pregnant with our second we started to talk about whether or not we should register. I knew I didn't want another shower. I didn't feel comfortable inviting 40 people to buy me another baby gift just 3 years after they bought me one for my daughter. Plus, I did get most of the basics and equipment in neutral colors.

None the less, there was definitely still stuff we needed. For starters... clothes! I couldn't believe how few gender neutral clothes we had. Everything was pink and this baby is a boy. Plus, my daughter was born in the spring and this baby is due in the winter.

We also had lots of sleep sacks and swaddles in pink. So this became a debate. I didn't think it was a huge deal for him to wear a pink sleep sack. My husband felt a little differently and wanted to get some cute boy colors and prints.

So we started a registry with only about 20 items on it. And then we had the talk with my family about whether or not we would take part in the new trend of Sprinkles. I personally feel like every baby should be celebrated. I was fine with it being a "gift-free" event. All I wanted was a cake and some family around to celebrate. I also wanted to do something to celebrate to help show my daughter how excited we are and to make her a part of it.

Ultimately we decided to have a Sprinkle. It was 10 of our closest family and friends. We had it in the middle of the afternoon and served lots of yummy appetizers and a huge selection of desserts. We had it at my mom's house and it was perfect. We all fit around the dining room table to eat and make a craft. And we all fit in the living room to open the very generous gifts we received. My daughter was super excited to be a part of the day and helped open all the presents. I would say it was the right decision for us.

Did you have a Sprinkle or second baby shower? Or do you feel they are unnecessary?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 Review and Giveaway!

I was recently given the fabulous opportunity to check out This website was new to me so I was excited to check it out and see if any restaurants in my area were available. The site sounded like a quick and easy way to get food delivered to my home.

Here is a little about
At you can easily order food online from your favorite local restaurants for delivery or pick up. There are over a half million hungry users every month that order from thousands of restaurants in over 50 cities nationwide.
If you have never ordered food online before it's very easy and simple: you place your order on, the order is sent to the restaurant and when your food is ready the restaurant delivers it or you pick it up. No searching for old menus, no phone calls, waiting on hold and no repeating your order. There are also iPhone and Android Apps for easy ordering on the go.

My Experience:
I was provided with a gift card to give a try. The first thing I did was search my address to see if there were any restaurants in my area participating, and I was happy to find that there were. Then we decided what kind of food we wanted (the ultimate decision was to order from a local Chinese food place). We clicked on the restaurant of choice and chose the lunch menu. Then we clicked on what we wanted. It walked us through the specifics, since it was lunch there were specials available and it had easy selections for what kind of rice we wanted and what kind of soup.

Once we had everything on our order that we wanted we checked out using the gift card. It also gave us the option to add a tip right onto our card (which was great since I didn't have any cash on me). Then it asked when we wanted it delivered and we chose ASAP. Within 20 minutes we were enjoying our lunch at home on a very rainy day. It could not have been any easier. E-mail notifications were sent to let us know that our order went through.

I think this site is fabulous! Now I can order from some of my favorite restaurants online and use my credit card. I also think this is an awesome idea for new parents. If you give them a gift card to you leave them with the freedom of picking from a variety of restaurants. One thing I did not want to have to worry about after having my daughter was making dinner. I was just enjoying my days with her and finding our routine. I would have loved to have a stock up of gift cards to order pizza or Chinese or whatever we were feeling that night.

I would highly recommend you head on over to and put in your address. Find out what restaurants in your area are available and place an order. I think you will love the convenience!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Pound Puppies: Super Secret Pup Club Coming to DVD

Pound Puppies: Super Secret Pup Club
On DVD October 16, 2012
from Shout! Factory Kids

"A pup for every person and a person for every pup!" That's the motto for the Pound Puppies: Lucky, Niblet, Cookie, Squirt, and Strudel - a team of fearless canines whose sworn mission is to find homes for lonely dogs. However, when the Pound Puppies get too busy, the younger puppies, Rebound, Cupcake and Patches form the Super Secret Pup Club to help out with the missions!

On October 16, 2012, Pound Puppies: Super Secret Pup Club will arrive on DVD from Shout! Factory Kids in collaboration with Hasbro. The DVD set features five exciting Pound Puppies adventures and also contains all-new bonus features, including Learn to Draw Rebound.

Winner of the 2012 Humanitas Prize in Children's Animation, the Pound Puppies series is currently airing on The Hub in the U.S. and YTV in Canada.

My Thoughts:
One day when flipping through the channels I discovered The Hub. I was so excited to find this channel as it showed that it aired tons of my favorite cartoons from when I was a little girl. From My Little Ponies to Smurfs to Pound Puppies. I couldn't wait to give it a try with  my daughter and see what she thought of what I consider to be "classic" TV.

My daughter took a very strong liking to Pound Puppies. She gets very excited when it's on and often asks for it throughout the day. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to check out this new DVD, since now I have a DVD on hand for when it's not on TV and she is itching to see those adorable pups!

I really enjoy watching the Pound Puppies with my daughter. They are loyal and true friends devoted to doing what is best for each animal. They have each other's back on every crazy adventure they end up on. And I think the puppies are just the cutest, so this DVD was extra fun to watch.

This show portrays a message of friendship and loyalty. It's full of silly adventures that keeps kids engaged and entertained. I would suggest you check it out on The Hub and grab a copy of the newest DVD on October 16th.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dora the Explorer: Dora's Royal Rescue on DVD Today

Available Today on DVD!

Lady Knight Dora is joined by the legendary Don Quixote in the brand-new DVD, Dora the Explorer: Dora's Royal Rescue. The DVD includes a double-length, never-before-aired episode, "Dora's Royal Rescue," which features the voices of Andy Garcia as Don Quixote and Placido Domingo as Malambruno. Also included, is the new-to-DVD episode, "Dora's Knighthood Adventure," which features the voice of Garcia as Don Quixote. In addition, for a limited time only, kids can enjoy a free Dora coloring and activity book. Created by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, Dora the Explorer: Dora's Royal Rescue will be released on DVD Oct. 2, 2012 for the suggested retail price of $14.99.

My Thoughts:
If you are a frequent visitor to my blog then you know my daughter adores Dora. From the DVD's to the play sets to the Pillow Pet. We have it all! When my daughter first started to have an interest in TV, Dora drew her attention. I would limit her TV time and often found that I was putting Dora on for her during that time. I asked myself why that was my choice and it really all came back to the quality of the show.

Dora is obviously engaging for kids. Almost every kids I have encountered knows who Dora is and smiles a big smile when they talk about her. But as a mom I look for more in a show. I want my daughter to be stimulated and engaged, not just spend her time staring at the TV. Dora offers this wonderful opportunity by creating an interactive show. In every episode your child's mind is challenged as Boots and Dora go on exciting adventures. From figuring out which way to go with the help of the Map, to solving puzzles, completing patterns, and counting out loud. My daughter is now at the point where she is verbally participating, as well as physically. She jumps across the river stones when Dora tells her to. She is up and moving and her mind is working. Not to mention that she is being exposed to another language! All while having fun.

I knew this latest edition would be a big hit with my daughter because she is all about princesses and knights and fairy tales. She was thrilled to go on an adventure with Lady Knight Dora to help save Don Quixote. She has already asked to watch it again!

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

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ralph Tells a Story - By Abby Hanlon

Ralph Tells a Story

As a teacher, I have encountered many students just like Ralph. This book is perfect for kids in school that are beginning to be asked to do some creative writing. It can be very challenging for some students to come up with ideas when they are given the opportunity to write about anything. Some children really do need some more prompting and structure to get their creative juices flowing. But this story helps kids realize that they have much more to say then they even know. The smallest experience or adventure could lead to the most interesting story. A story that leads to other questions and engages the interest of others.

I loved this book because of how relate-able it is to kids. It's encouraging and inspiring. You are cheering for Ralph to come up with a great story! I would highly recommend you check out this book and share it with your new writer.

Inspiration for Ralph Tells A Story

For Momma Drama 

Abby Hanlon, author of Ralph Tells A Story 
I wrote Ralph Tells A Story when I was a first grade teacher. An adorable little boy in my class with really messy hair inspired the story. This little boy hated writing time. He struggled with the basics—holding his pencil, forming letters, writing his name. Drawing was not a satisfying way for him to tell a story because his drawing skills were undeveloped. This little boy squirmed in his chair and tried to find every possible distraction to avoid writing. Every day he would declare that he had nothing to write about.

But I knew that was not true, because this kid was funny. The other kids in the class loved him for his silly stories. He just couldn’t write them down. I remember one day when it was time to share at the end of writing time, I called on him to share his story, knowing there was nothing, or very little, on his paper. He stood in front of the class, holding his empty paper. After his initial unease, he improvised, making up a funny story as he went along. When he was finished, the class burst into applause. That was how the idea was born for Ralph Tells A Story.  I felt that this boy was a natural hero.

Writing Tip of the Day
Copyright (c) 2012 by Abby Hanlon
Kids like stories that are funny, so a great way to encourage reluctant writers is by tapping into their deep well of silly kid humor. Notice what your kids find funny. If told with humor, anything can be a story. My son loves when I tell a story about strange noises he makes in the middle of the night. Keep a list of these things that make you laugh at home. Pull it out when your kid complains, “I have nothing to write about.” 

Be sure to visit the next stop on this book tour: KidLitFrenzy and check out Abby's Blog on tumblr!