Friday, July 15, 2011

Go See: Winnie the Pooh

On Saturday, my family and I headed into the city nice and early for an advanced screening of Winnie the Pooh. The screening was held at The Ritz 5 and while it was my first visit, it's an old favorite of my husband's- he used to go to The Ritz with friends in high school and college.

As we sat down, I knew Ava was excited, but as the newly updated theme song began to play, I caught myself tearing up a bit - it reminded me of my parents and my childhood! How many times did they sing about Christopher Robin in the Hundred Acre Wood before bedtime to me and my siblings?

Ava clutched her Tigger stuffed animal as the characters began to show up on the screen.  She yelled each name as the character appeared and giggled incessantly for the first 10 minutes. She just could not believe her buddies were right in front of her on that screen!

The movie was made by Disney and is inspired by A.A. Milne's books.  This particular movie is based on three different Winnie the Pooh stories by Milne.

Winnie the Pooh begins with a problem- Eeyore has lost his tale!! Pooh, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, Owl, Piglet and Tigger come together to find Eeyore a new tale, but as they do, they take on a new mission---find Christopher Robin! The gang mistakenly thinks Christopher Robin has gone missing when Owl mis-reads a note left by CR on his front door.

Owl also mistakenly announces that CR has been taken by a certain make-believe monster which sends everybody into a tail-spin of worries.

The movie was light-hearted, silly, and not one-bit-scary.  The ending was just as precious as you would expect it to be and I have to admit, had my husband and I giggling throughout as well!!

You can check out some fabulously fun family activities here.

Stay informed with the movie on facebook!  This movie opens everywhere today, July 15!

My family received passes to attend an advanced screening of Winnie the Pooh. All opinions are our own.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Razor Pocket Pros Finger Scooter Toy

Here is a cool little Razor Pocket Pros Finger Scooter Toy we were psyched to try out with the kids! It’s made by Pocket Pros and is modeled after the Razor scooters.  It is intended for the 6+ crowds as it features lots of small parts and even a tool!

My test crew was two 7-year-old boys and they immediately recognized the Razor scooter. They loved how the scooter “folds” like the life sized Razor scooter and easily fit into their pocket. It came with changeable wheels and a little tool to change the wheels. This is an awesome feature. It also came with changeable handlebar covers too. So, each kid could “customize” their scooter to their liking.

There are quite a few really cool features to this little toy. First, the ability to customize the wheels and handlebar covers. Next, the tool made the kids feel like they were actually “working” on their scooter. Finally, the little parts all move created lots of fun! This is a cool little collectible toy that packs hours of entertainment yet still fits in a child’s pocket. A pretty cool little toy!

We received a sample of this produce to help facilitate this review. All opinions are our own.

This review was by our contributor, Gia.

Pokemon Pop N Battle : Tepig

Here is another cool toy from the Pokemon characters. The Pop N Battle comes with a launcher and attack target. It’s a great game for the 4+ crowds. My little guys loved launching the pokeman at the intended target. Once they actually hit the attack target and the little “trap” shut, they were all sold!

Play it alone or battle with friends, either way it’s a great little game!  The Pop N Battle itself is brightly colored and features a PokeMon character that is launched into “battle”. We received the Tepig character that is a very cool looking pig. This toy features some smaller pieces but we were pleased with the overall durability. This is a cool game for any child but especially for a PokeMon fan.

We received a sample of this produce to help facilitate this review. All opinions are our own.

This review was by our contributor, Gia.

Disney Pixar Cars 2 Jeff Gorvette

If you have a little one who loves the Cars movies, this will be the perfect toy for you! Disney Pixar through Mattel has released a new line of Cars toys for the Cars 2 movie. We received Disney Pixar Cars 2 Jeff Gorvette, a cool little yellow corvette with an American Flag painted on him. The detailing on this guy is awesome.

He is the size of a typical racecar and fits in small hands, so he is good for hours of racing!  Jeff Gorvette has a ton of detail, like I said before. His paint is bright and he is constructed well. I tested him out on a few kindergartners and he was a total hit! I did not even have to tell him his name, as he is easily recognizable.

They loved him and asked when we could get Jeff’s other buddies Mater, Fin McMissile, and Lightening McQueen. These guys are also available! So, collect all the Cars 2 figures for hours of enjoyment!

We were provided a sample of this product for review. All opinions are our own. 

Thank you to our blog contributor Gia!

Captain Cuffs - Fisher-Price Hereo World Rescue Heroes

Recently we had the opportunity to review Fisher-Price Hero World Rescue Hereos Captain Cuffs. While Captain Cuffs is awesome, he is a bit too advanced for our little guy. He is intended for ages 3-8, so he headed to the classroom with me for some free time! I am a special education teacher and my students aged 5-7 loved him!

There are so many things as a parent/teacher that I love about him.  First, he is incredibly durable. Next, he comes with many parts/pieces that are made to actually last. Finally, he is equipped with moving parts that are easily manipulated by little hands (your little one will LOVE the actionator feature).

Overall Fisher-Price Hero World Rescue Hereos Captain Cuffs was a complete success with my crowd and I can foresee him lasting the test of time in any household.

Thanks Fisher-Price for the awesome Captain Cuffs!  

Thank you, Gia, our newest blog contributor!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sushi-Themed Cloth Lunch Set by Brookiellen Designs!

At this point,  I try to stay away from plastic and wasteful packaging as much as possible. Not only is it better for the environment, it's better for the health of my family- way less toxins getting into our food. Having a toddler, lunch accessories are a must. I teach M-W and Ava goes to a babysitter. On my days off, we are often out and about, meeting with friends, or running errands. I don't know if you have ever met my child but she can EAT! She loves to eat and often requests snacks throughout the day.

My girl Brooke at Brookiellen Designs hooked us up, big time! She sent over some of her brand-new products- an insulated lunch sack, a sandwich bag, and a snack bag! The lunch sack snaps closed and has a handle for easy toting, and the snack bags have a waterproof nylon lining.  They perfectly accommodates a few snacks or a full lunch for Ava.

Since receiving the snack bags a few weeks ago, we have used them so often, and we get tons of compliments on them. People love the sushi design (we are so in love with it!), and people love the earth-friendly way to port toddler snacks!

I love the velcro closures and the easy-to-clean insides- just wipe with a damp towel. If something icky gets on it, simply hand wash it or put it in the washer!  We actually used ours up in the Poconos on the beach and on the dock for food and believe it or not---our iphones fit perfectly in them!!!

I cannot wait to buy some more, to stock up for our fall back-to-school time. The hardest part will certainly be deciding which pattern to choose!!!

If you're interested, head over to her shop, she JUST returned from vacation, so these will be flying off the shelves!

We received samples from Brookiellen Designs to help facilitate this review. All opinions are our own.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It Gets Easier! ...And other lies we tell new mothers

I had the opportunity to review this funny and informative book by Claudine Wolk. It Gets Easier! And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers is packed with really good information that I REALLY could have used after having Ava!

The book addresses common issues women face while pregnant, during labor, and those oh-so-stressful months after the baby has arrived. I have to be honest, it was tough, and I am very guilty of saying those three words~ "It gets easier". I mean, it does, because you (hopefully) will sleep again, and if I have sleep, I can handle anything, but as a mom of a feisty two-year-old, I cannot say it's gotten easy. Ha!

I am the type of mom who likes to prepare. I research. I read blogs. I talk with other moms. But I never really quite felt ready.  I have to think that if I had gotten my hands on this little ditty, I might have had half a clue!

Wolk tells it like it is, without being crass and condescending. She writes with experience and humor- something that is invaluable to a new mom.

I love the layout of the book, it's easy-to-navigate and easy-to-follow.  There are tips offered in the side bar, and Wolk includes a summary at the end of each chapter.

Both sides of the breast-feeding debate are addressed, birth plans (and how much of a waste of time they are) are discussed, and there's a whole chapter dedicated to the often-debated idea of schedules.  Wolk includes a resource section in the back, including websites, books, blogs, and my favorite, a New Mom Glossary--LOVE IT!

I think I have found my new baby shower go-to gift, as it truly addresses all important topics for new moms!

We were provided with a sample of this book to help facilitate this review. All opinions are our own.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Aqua Doodle!!!

Aqua Doodle by Spin Master
Daddy checks out Aqua Bear!

Having a toddler in the home, we are in the artsy-crafty stage. Painting, coloring, markers, pipe cleaners, you name it. The messier the better. I am totally cool with mess and never mind letting Ava go crazy with finger paints (at the table of course), but there are times when mess just is not an option, like at Granny’s house, on vacation, or in the car.

We have discovered two toys that satisfy the greatest of artists, and please the tidiest of moms~ Aqua Doodle Bear and Aqua Doodle Mat!  These toys each come with their own marker (which can be used interchangeably) and both can be drawn on, even the bear!  
By the end of the week we were writing abc's and drawing all the
little pictures around the mat for Ava!

I have not even gotten into the best part yet--- the markers will work once they are filled with water, and! They only work on Aqua Doodle Products!!!!  Write with them on your skin, just water. Write on a chair, just water. Write on the dog, just water. Pretty dang sweet, huh?

These toys occupied my two-year-old, my husband and I, my mother-in-law (who is an artist!) and my step-father-in-law. We played with them in the car, in the cabin and on the dock.

After a few minutes, your drawing will begin to evaporate so there is no need to clean, no need to put them in the washing machine, easy-peasy. Ava was completely mesmerized by the fact that her handprints, foot tracings, and drawings would disappear after a bit. “Where are my toes?” was a common expression around the house!

Thank you to Spin Master who provided samples of these products to help facilitate this review, unknowingly to them---just in time for vacation!!! All opinions are our own.

Chuggington Playset: Wash and Fuel Set

Chuggington Playset: Wash and Fuel Set

I may have a daughter but that does not mean she is not into trains.  Give the girl a car or train set and she can play for hours. Imagine her delight when I introduced the Chuggington Wash and Fuel Playset (say that ten times fast!) by Learning Curve Brands!  This set is so up her alley- she loves doing the things that mommy and daddy do- cleaning and getting gas included!

The play set is designed for ages 3+ but as a 2+ year old, she was able to get a lot out of it with adult supervision.

She loved zooming the two cars around the track, but was also very impressed when I showed her how to control the crank which allows the trains to race around the track on their own!!!  The coolest feature by far is the fact that the trains communicate with each other! They have tons of phrases which is very impressive.

As a mom and a teacher, I am thrilled to see just how much this encouraged Ava’s social-emotional skills, her imaginative play skills are exploding these days, thanks to awesome toys like this.

Thank you to Learning Curve Brands for providing such a fun toy for us to play with this summer, it sure is getting it’s use over here! All opinions are our own.