Celebrating National Hugging Day with BAYMAX

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    About National Hugging Day: National Hugging Day,™ also known as National Hug Day, is an annual holiday created by Rev. Kevin Zaborney in Michigan, USA. It occurs on January 21 and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office. It was first celebrated in 1986 and has since spread to multiple countries. The purpose of the holiday is to encourage people to openly express themselves through hugging.  Offer a hug to anyone and everyone you want but remember it is wise to ask first. Whether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same. For more information, visit www.nationalhuggingday.com.     After much deliberation and even more hugging, Baymax, the lovable personal companionrobot and star of Walt Disney Animation Studio’s action-packed comedy adventure and Academy Award® Nominated … [Read more...]

App of the Week :: Storm & Skye and The Secret of the Car Wash

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  Storm & Skye and The Secret of the Car Wash is a magical audio-visual tale that lasts a little over 45 minutes!!! The story starts out with the narrator that lets you know that Storm, a young boy, has recently moved to a new part of town with his mum, and his step-dad Baldwin. Storm isn't too keen on this situation; having left all of his friends, and especially his dad back on the other side of town. This allows you into the mind of Storm and how he's feeling with no friends and in a new area. Displaced. Baldwin, his step-dad, "can't even get a bookcase put together" [as he's been working on it for a couple of days, whereas his dad would have had it completed in hours]. So many kids can relate to this or may know/have friends that can so they are able to empathize. There are small swirling circles that will pop up at various moments throughout the chapters and … [Read more...]

Let’s Celebrate! Penelope’s 4th Birthday Giveaway

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  Seems like a lifetime ago, sitting on my daughter's bed listening to my husband tell her a story about RedBeard and his adventures on the high seas.  In that moment, I visualized a little redheaded girl pirate and her adventures on the high seas.  It took about a year to see my dream of writing a children's book come alive, but step by step, with some ups and downs, it came to light!  The feeling of seeing the story for the first on the iPhone as a storybook app is a memory I will always treasure!  And reading the story for the first time to my daughter's preschool class, with her by my side (hand on my knee) is so precious to me.     I have told my story many times in hopes that it inspires other aspiring authors to just go for it!  If I had listened to the naysayers (yes, there were some other writers that told me self-publishing and doing an app first … [Read more...]

The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Rev Your Engines

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  The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Rev Your Engines Chuck is back with his friends: Digger, Handy, Rowdy, Biggs, Boomer and Flip with 10 new episodes in "Rev Your Engines"! It's one of those dvd episode movies that can involve the whole family and create communication about the episodes where you actually feel good about what your child just watched. You'll also feel extremely happy yourself and won't mind watching it repeatedly or allowing your child to ask for it again and again. When cartoons are this good and of such quality and entertainment along with knowing that your child learned something while watching, well, you don't and won't squirm at giving some "tv time". That's what you get from Hasbro and Shout! Kids in their newest collaboration.    Each episode, as with all of "The Adventures of Chuck & Friends", is fun for the whole family that always … [Read more...]

Review :: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions

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EXECUTIVE PRODUCER GEORGE LUCAS THE EMMY® AWARD-WINNING SERIES ‘STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS‘ STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS: THE LOST MISSIONS       Against a backdrop of ever-shifting loyalties, uneasy alliances and ancient hostilities, the conflict between the Republic and the Separatists ramps up, setting the stage for Darth Sidious’ ultimate act of treachery against the Jedi. In these uncertain times, some of the deepest mysteries of the light and dark sides of the Force are revealed as an intrepid clone trooper uncovers a shocking conspiracy, Anakin Skywalker’s closest relationship is tested to its limits, and Master Yoda makes a discovery that could forever change the balance of power in the galaxy.     The Clone Wars are really well made and the stories draw you in.  It takes me back to being a kid!  The very first movie I remember seeing is Star … [Read more...]

App of the Week: 10 Fingers for 10 Digits

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When my son saw the number blocks that came in mail he was very excited to try them out with this app. He was able to figure out how the blocks worked with the app quicker than I was. In the picture above the number blocks help with identifying numbers. So you put the number 4 block on your iPad and it shows 4 ladybugs in this case as well as saying 4.     In the above picture it shows how you can still use the app without having the number blocks. So the child put 2 fingers on one side and 3 fingers on the other side to practice addition. I find this section to be very useful for my son as he will be starting to learn about math soon at school.   In the picture above the number blocks help with identifying numbers as well. So when you put 8 fingers on your iPad and it shows the number 8 as well as saying 8. I look forward to using this app with my … [Read more...]

Create New Thanksgiving Traditions This Holiday Season

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Image courtesy of Flickr Create New Thanksgiving Traditions This Holiday Season   Interestingly, America is not the only country to celebrate an official Thanksgiving Day. Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Korea, Japan, Switzerland and Liberia also have an official Thanksgiving Holiday. In Canada, tomato aspic (jellied tomato juice) is an Ontario Thanksgiving tradition. Maybe you want to try something new this Thanksgiving Holiday. If so, consider one of the activities below. 1. Make Something from Scratch Add an old family recipe to your menu. Imagine the joy Aunt Edna will feel when you make her homemade cranberry sauce using fresh cranberries. Make sure you let her know as she takes her first bite. Even if you do not have a family recipe, there is no shortage of old-fashioned Thanksgiving recipes online.   2. Have a Baking Contest Ask everyone to bring his or her … [Read more...]

The Helpful Honda Crew Providing Perks for Football Fans!

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  The Guys in Blue are playing ball! Well- not exactly, but the Helpful Honda teams have been spotted at USC and UCLA football games providing fans with helpful perks. All around the stadium, the Helpful Guys in Blue can be seen greeting fans, picking up trash, as well as giving out game-day essentials like sun screen, hand sanitizer, portable radios, & misters. Plus, Honda drivers are being surprised with seat upgrades and for a few lucky UCLA fans there is even an upgrade to dream seats right at field level!     And as an added bonus, at both USC and UCLA home games we are surprising lucky Honda drivers with free car washes while they enjoy the game. And of course, we're happy to be helpful regardless of what car you drive, as many of our helpful street teams have been handing out much needed misters and sunscreen for sunny … [Read more...]

Movie Review & Giveaway :: The Hundred-Foot Journey

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    Our family goes to the movies quite a bit and you could say it is one of our favorite things to do together!  We usually will get a big box of popcorn and peanut m&m's (though my daughter prefers the plain ones - age wins out) and we sit back and enjoy the latest PG and under movies.  I have seen the previews for The Hundred-Foot Journey and it was on my list of movies to see so I was excited to receive a copy to check out and one to hand out in a giveaway.      From producers Steven Spielberg & Oprah Winfrey and director Lasse Hallström (“Chocolat,” “The Cider House Rules”) comes the deliciously entertaining story of “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” which will be available to own on December 2, 2014. Based on the beloved, best-selling novel by Richard C. Morais and starring Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren (“The Queen,” “Monsters University,” “The … [Read more...]

Movie Review :: Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars

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        Bring Home The Ultimate Intergalactic Adventure on DVD as Phineas and Ferb Join Forces with Star Wars in One Epic Full-Length Adventure! PHINEAS AND FERB: STAR WARS was released on DVD this month.  Our family has been fans of this fun crew for many years now.  I just think the whole series is so clever and really funny.  There are so many jokes that parents get and appreciate you don't really feel like you are watching a kid's movie.   My daughter said she liked this cool adventure movie where Phineas reunites with his sister, Candice.  But we don't want to give the movie storyline away - but we can say that it is a really fun movie to watch and the DVD Includes Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars Full-Length Adventure Plus Five Additional Episodes (Over Two Hours of Content) And A Complimentary Collectible Perry-In-Carbonite Keychain!  I must … [Read more...]