Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pipsie, Nature Detective - Book Tour!

by Rick DeDonato
illustrated by Tracy Bishop

Pipsie loves everything wild—from dragonflies to oceans to tall, tall trees. She also loves solving mysteries. That’s why she’s a nature detective! When she and her turtle, Alfred, notice that their new friend, Frannie the caterpillar, has vanished, Pipsie is on the case. She grabs her magnifying glass, goes to her tree-house headquarters, and begins to search for clues. It’s time to make this mystery history!

Bursting with personality, this engaging story introduces a spunky new girl detective, a scooter-driving turtle who loves to eat, and a string of simple scientific clues that will keep kids turning the pages until the mystery is solved. Two pages of nature fun facts at the end of the story offer even more information for young nature detectives.

Rick DeDonato started writing and drawing storybooks for his two kids, Alexis and Matt, when they were little. They’re grown now, but Rick is still creating stories! When he’s not dreaming up adventures for Pipsie, he’s an award-winning creative director in advertising. Born in New Jersey, he now lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with Nancy McAleer; their two dogs, Tugger and Nacho; and their turtle, Alfred E. Turtle!

Tracy Bishop won an art contest in kindergarten, and she’s been creating art ever since. A graduate of San Jose State University, she is also the illustrator of Not the Quitting Kind by Sarra J. Roth. She lives in San Jose, California, where she is inspired on a daily basis by her son, husband, and a hairy dog named Harry.

My Thoughts:
This book was the perfect book to share with my nature loving 5 year old. We have been suffering from cabin fever, and everyday she is aching to get outside to have some adventures! Pipsie and my daughter have so many wonderful things in common! They have fantastic imaginations, an itching for adventures, and a thirst for learning!

My daughter and I had so much fun going along with Pipsie and Alfred on their grand adventure to find  their friend, Frannie the caterpillar. Every page was filled with adventure that jumped off the page through fabulous illustrations. It has clues to follow and fun facts to learn. And the pages at the back are filled with all kinds of neat information! You will have to grab this book to find out how they made the mystery history!

Check out PipsieNatureDetective.com for games and coloring, fun facts, more details about Pipsie and her friends, and info about the author and illustrator. There’s also a link to Alfred Z. Turtle’s blog!

And hop on over to Obsessive Mommy tomorrow to follow us along on this book tour!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of PIPSIE, NATURE DETECTIVE (U.S. addresses). Simply comment below telling me why you would love to win a copy of this great book. Be sure to leave an e-mail address.

Friday, March 27, 2015

My Dolphin Show Review

The dolphin trainer and her dolphin are ready to impress the audience with a specular show. This is not a small aquarium, but a big show like you would see in Sea World or any other water park.

These are the tricks your dolphin can do:
Beach ball hit, donut jumping, hurdle jumping, splash the audience wet, jump through rings, score a soccer goal, coin collect, piƱata smash, air stunts, water walk, bowling, basketball, love kiss, golf, volleyball, collect fish from the trainer, underwater ring, fetch the ball, hit the bell and many more fun tricks.

There are 39 fun outfits / marine animals / pets available:
Cheerleader, ghost, pink dolphin, clown fish, banana, lobster, zebra, crocodile, princess, shark, tiger, turtle, scuba diving suit, wedding dress, fairy, polar bear, wolf, sea lion, celebrity, angel, baby whale, Hawaii dress, Dracula, silver dolphin, mermaid, Santa, frog, super dolphin, penguin, hippo, gold dolphin, seahorse, rainbow dolphin, glitter dolphin and more.

The game has 72 levels and more are coming. You’ll be putting on shows in these locations:
Hawaii, Cruise ship (love boat), Las Vegas, theme park, water amusement park (coming soon!).

Go for Olympic gold and swim through the coral and win those 3 golden stars in each show!

It’s a family game suited for kids (boy and girl) and grownups. You’re never too old to enjoy dolphins.

My Thoughts:
When I read about this app it sounded like something my 5 year old daughter would love. She's pretty savvy when it comes to the iPad and is always looking for a new app to try out. We installed it and left it for her to explore. She was able to figure everything out with very little guidance from me and her dad, which is how she likes it. Little independent girl.

Her favorite dolphin is the pink one. She heads off to Hawaii and has her dolphin do all kinds of tricks. Her favorite trick is having her dolphin jump straight up through a ring. She also like hitting the beach balls. She is already on level 6! She loves having new and more obstacles as she continues to play.

It's a very cute game that keeps her entertained and happy! Check it out in the app store!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Strange Magic - Coming to DVD and Digital May 19th

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.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash

As a busy mom, my time in the shower is my special time. They are usually the few moments in a day that I am completely alone. I am free to sing or think or just try and relax. So I am always looking for fabulous products that make my shower an even more enjoyable experience with lasting results... you know, for all the other time I spend out of the shower.

Dial is a brand that I have come to know and trust. I use a lot of their products from hand soaps to body washes. So I was definitely excited to try out their newest product, Miracle Oil Body Wash.

"New Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash is infused with caring Marula oil for beautifully, soft skin. This new body was is formulated with Micro Oil Technology for a luxurious, clean-rinsing lather that leaves skin feeling clean, soft and smooth."

Well, let's face it. The winter has not been kind to my skin. It is rough and flaky... and just overall not looking it's best. As we are approaching spring it's time to get some moisture back into my skin so I can look and feel better.

Enter this new body wash....
Ta-da! It's looks great in my shower with the kids toys, right?

It was time to take this baby for a spin....
Just a small amount.....

lathered up beautifully.....

And it smells great!

I was thrilled my experience with Dial Miracle Oil Body Wash. Just a small amount gave me a fabulous lather that lasted from head to toe.  It really did go on silky smooth with a fantastic scent. It washed clean and didn't leave any oily residue. Afterwards my skin felt refreshed, rather than it's usually dry, tight feeling.  It's a great family body wash that everyone will love!

I would definitely recommend you check out this great product! And one of my lucky readers is going to be able to try it for FREE!

GIVEAWAY! Just comment below telling me you want to win! Be sure to leave your e-mail address. I will contact the winner on April 4th and then send them a coupon for a FREE bottle! 
*Must have a US mailing address.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals

Your Pet Shop Pals Are All Here!
Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals
Bring Home the Adventures on DVD March 17, 2015

It’s always exciting to make new friends, and no one does it better than Blythe Baxter and her favorite pet pals at the Littlest Pet Shop. On March 17, 2015, join the fun as Blythe and her friends, new and old, create a fashion craze with Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals from Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios.

Blythe and her very best friends – Zoe the spaniel, Pepper the skunk, Sunil the mongoose, Russell the hedgehog, Penny the panda, Minka the monkey and Buttercream the bunny –  are back for five more exciting, not to mention hilarious, adventures! Plus, you’ll get a chance to meet some new friends, like a shy tortoise, a spying cat, a famous comedian orangutan, and Pepper’s new crush! Who could it be? Find out with Blythe and the gang in The Littlest Pet Shop – Pet Shop Pals!

Episodes Include:
Books And Covers
Helicopter Dad
Lotsa Luck
The Nest Hats Craze
Sweet Pepper

Bonus Features:

My Thoughts:
My daughter is a Littlest Pet Shop fan! She loves to pretend that she is Blythe and that all of her stuffed animals are her pet shop pals. We try to catch these adorable critters every day before dinner on Discovery Family, but having it on hand as a DVD has been great for days we miss it or when she just really wants to check in at the pet shop.

I enjoy the show because the characters are all very sweet... and funny. They each of very individual personalities and she knows them all! Her favorite is Minka, the monkey. She thinks she's funny and crazy... oh, and she's pink! What more could a little girl ask for? But she's also a good friend to the other pets and to Blythe. They work together when they get into mischief and show they care about each other.

This DVD is great because it has several episodes. So we can catch a quick episode here and there without settling in for hours of TV at a time. And it offers a great variety by featuring different pets in different episodes. So you are sure to see your favorite being the star of the show!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Rufus Goes to Sea

In RUFUS GOES TO SEA (Sterling Children’s Books, April 2015) by Kim T. Griswell, our favorite pig Rufus is back and dreaming of days filled with adventure – aboard a pirate ship!

Rufus is ready to join the crew… but Captain Wibblyshins says, “No Pigs on pirate ships!” After all, everyone knows that pigs get tangled in the rat lines, picnic in the crow's nest, and even wipe their chins with the Jolly Roger. Can Rufus convince the Captain that he's worthy of joining the crew? Could his ticket to pirate-hood be… reading?!

Kids will love seeing Rufus conquer new worlds in this delightful follow-up to Rufus Goes to School (Sterling Children’s Books, 2013).

Kim T. Griswell is a developmental editor for Uncle John's Bathroom Readers and the former coordinating editor of Highlights for Kids. She helps develop and teach writers' workshops with the Highlights Foundation and has taught with the Institute for Children's Literature.  Kim is the author of the popular Rufus Goes to School (2013) and has published more than 200 short stories, articles, and columns.

Illustrator Valeri Gorbachev has written and/or illustrated more than 50 children's books, including Rufus Goes to School (2013), Turtle's Penguin Day and The Giant Hug (both Knopf).

My Thoughts:
This is an adorable and funny story that has my kids totally entertained! We are familiar with the quirky star, Rufus. My daughter started kindergarten this year, so we met this persistent pig when he went off to school. It has been a great way for us to talk about how wonderful school it and all the fun things you can learn there. Rufus wanted to go so badly so that he could learn to read.... and my daughter wants to learn to read, too. So they are pals.

When we sat down to head out on this high seas adventure with Rufus, she was so excited! She couldn't wait to see what he was up to on his summer vacation from school. Of course, things don't come easy for Rufus and he has to fight for what he wants again. But this sweet pig knows what he wants and will figure out a way to make it happen.

We really enjoyed this story and would definitely recommend it as a great addition to your book collection!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Garden Lites

Garden Lites® Launches
New Kid-Friendly Snacking Options!


JAMAICA, NY (February 2015) – Garden Lites Muffins launches new kid-friendly snacking options with the help of two popular Nickelodeon characters: Garden Lites Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Power Muffins and Garden Lites SpongeBob SquarePants Chocolate Krabby Square Muffins. These new products allow parents to leverage their child’s adoration of Nickelodeon characters while reinforcing healthier eating habits.  These fun muffins come in a pack of six and are 1oz each. Garden Lites Teenage Mutant Ninja Power Muffins are made to mimic their famous tortoise shells and are individually packaged with a different character on each wrapping. Your child will be so thrilled to share their snack time with Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael. Garden Lites Muffins are the perfect snack for finicky eaters because they taste surprisingly delicious yet have vegetables as the first ingredient. They also boast great attributes including gluten-free, dairy free, nut free, low calories, high fiber, rich in whole grains, and Kosher.

The Garden Lites Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Power Muffins are a delicious twist on your standard chocolate chip muffin with just a hint of caramel, and they are made with fresh zucchini and spinach! You’ll find Garden Lites Muffins in the freezer section of your favorite grocer. They thaw quickly, in under two hours at room temperature, for easy enjoyment on-the-go or in a lunchbox; or defrost them in the microwave for 20 seconds per muffin and you’ll have a warm healthy treat for your little one on these cold wintry days. They will be full with “Turtle Power” in no time!

If your child is a SpongeBob fan, then the Garden Lites SpongeBob SquarePants Chocolate Krabby Square Muffins are an ideal choice! You won’t believe these rich, chocolate muffins are made with fresh zucchini and carrots! Square-shaped, just like SpongeBob himself, these muffins come six to a package and are sure to satisfy after school cravings while leaving kids feeling anything but crabby.

“We know parents are concerned about proper nutrition and Garden Lites Muffins make sensible snacking easy. Kids love the taste and the character appeal, while parents love the fact that they make it an easy way for kids to get their vegetables,” says Julie Gould, Assistant Brand Manager of Garden Lites.  “The fact that Garden Lites Muffins are also free of many allergens and made with ingredients you recognize has moms feeling like they’ve won the lottery!”

New Garden Lites Nickelodeon Muffins are available at select retailers. The muffins come in a box of six with an SRP of $3.49. Both can be found in the frozen section of stores nationwide, including: Target, Publix, and ShopRite. For more information on Garden Lites products, visit www.GardenLites.com and be sure to “Like” on Facebook and Follow on Twitter!

My Thoughts:
I have two tiny picky eaters! My five year old does whatever she can to avoid vegetables. She already has her mind set that she isn't going to like them  and makes a face like we are torturing her when we ask her to try something. My two year old just says, "no, no, no." He pushes them away, stuffs them under the cushion of his high chair, or throws them on the floor. Ah, the adventures of meal time!

So when I learned about the Garden Lites I was definitely interested in trying them with my kids. They love muffins, so I was hopeful that this would be enough of a disguise that they wouldn't even notice that there was anything healthy in them. Add the fun characters to the box and now we are talking kid language.

The chocolate Krabby muffins were easy enough. Chocolate! And since you microwave them they come out warm. It was like a dessert and they were never the wiser. Then I took out the Ninja Power Muffins and they were green. I thought this was it... a total deal breaker. So I hand them over and tell them they are ninja turtle muffins. Poof... gone! Wow. I was impressed.

These will definitely be going on my shopping list. I feel like super mom for finding a food that my kids will eat and I am happy to give them.. because I know they are getting great nutrients from foods they otherwise would not be eating.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast

Tinker Bell and Her Fairy Friends Return in a LEGENDARY New Adventure!

The Myth Comes to Magical Life on Disney Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD,
 Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD & On-Demand March 3, 2015!

Synopsis: Return to Pixie Hollow for the heartwarming and humorous adventure “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast”! An ancient myth of a fabled creature sparks the curiosity of Tinker Bell and her good friend Fawn, an animal fairy who’s not afraid to break the rules to help an animal in need. But this creature – massive and wondrous with glowing green eyes – is not welcome in Pixie Hollow – and the scout fairies are determined to capture the mysterious beast, who they fear will destroy their home. Fawn, who sees a tender heart beneath his gruff exterior, must convince Tink and her fairy friends to risk everything to rescue the NeverBeast.

Our Thoughts:
My five year old daughter is a huge Tinkerbell fan! We have been following Tink in her adventures from the very beginning. We watched her become a fairy, find her talent, meet her sister, befriend a pirate.... and now.... help rescue a creature so big and fierce that he is feared by all of the other fairies.

While Tinkerbell is the big name in this film, Fawn is taking center stage. As an animal talent fairy who is able to see so much more than size and fangs. She has a truly endearing connection with the creature and befriends it in a way that other fairies can't understand. Tinkerbell is right by her side in becoming a true friend to Gruff, the NeverBeast. The entire film is filled with magic, excitement, great music, and special friends.

I love that this movie is filled with so many great themes. Perhaps the most evident is that we should not judge a book by it's cover. Taking the time to get to know someone is so important and will often open our eyes to a whole new level to the person (or creature) that we couldn't see at first. The fairies are such good friends to each other. They have each other's backs and trust each other's instincts. They are great role models for young girls!

This is a great movie for Family Movie Night! It is something the whole family can enjoy!