Friday, October 24, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2 - #DragonsInsiders Giveaway

I'll be receiving product in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases DreamWorks Animation’s critically acclaimed HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 on Digital HD October 21 and on Blu-ray™ and DVD November 11. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, the next chapter to the Academy Award® nominated film released in 2010, is “sensational…an instant animated classic,” proclaims Access Hollywood. A hit with audiences and critics alike, the film received an outstanding audience reaction with a coveted “A” CinemaScore® and certified 92% fresh on Variety’s Peter Debruge declares the film is “Braver than ‘Brave,’ more fun than ‘Frozen’…Dragon delivers.” It’s a must-own title for the whole family!

Fans will get even more excitement, adventure and, of course, more dragons when DreamWorks Animation releases DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, an all-new animated adventure featuring the original voice cast. A hunt for lost sheep soon turns into a high-flying sprint in the all-new epic adventure as Hiccup and friends battle to become the first Dragon Racing Champion of Berk! DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS will be available exclusively on the Blu-ray™ combo pack, DVD double pack and Digital HD.

The all-star film talent features Jay Baruchel (This Is The End), two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen), Craig Ferguson (“The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”), America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”), Academy Award® nominee Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Neighbors), T.J. Miller (“Silicon Valley”) and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids). The film also adds the voice talent of Academy Award® nominee Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) and Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”).

The Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD feature hours of bonus materials that explore the world of dragons and more. Furthermore, the Blu-ray™ and Digital HD contain four exclusive featurettes, deleted scenes and a 60-minute behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the film, shot and created by the film’s writer and director Dean DeBlois.

Win It!
One person will win How to Train Your Dragon 2 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

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Beethoven's Treasure Tail Activity Sheets

I received product in exchange for this post.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
In association with the release of Beethoven's Treasure Tail, here is a coloring sheet and maze for you to print out and share with your children. 


Get ready to howl with laughter in this all-new family comedy starring America’s favorite St. Bernard, the one and only Beethoven! After a doggone disaster of a movie shoot, the big-hearted pooch and his trainer, Eddie (Jonathan Silverman, Beethoven’s Big Break), are heading home when they get stranded in a small coastal village. When Beethoven befriends a local boy (Bretton Manley, Ted), he helps him find a pirate map to lost treasure and together they em-bark on an adventure that brings the whole town together. Co-starring Morgan Fairchild (Flamingo Road), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), it’s a heartwarming “tail” about finding fun wherever your nose leads you.

DayDreamer Sleeper - Baby Sleeper Review

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
I'm not pregnant and the chances of that happening are slim to none.  I do, however, know quite a few gals that are and I've been on the market for baby merchandise.  I want to get gifts that are functional and of good quality.  The DayDreamer Sleeper is a baby item that I found to be a wonderful contribution to new mothers.
DayDreamer Sleeper is a luxurious and soft sleeper that will help cradle babies, creating a more natural sleeping position to help babies fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Created by an infant product specialist, the DayDreamer Sleeper’s flat base is designed to keep the Sleeper stable when baby is awake and moving, while the high walls prevent toys and bottles from falling out of the Sleeper and onto the floor. The DayDreamer Sleeper surpasses the latest safety regulations and adheres to all proposed federal laws and CPSC standards for baby sleepers.
Available in three colors - blue, green, and pink- DayDreamer Sleeper is made of soft material and is easy to transport.  A three point harness secures baby in place.  The machine washable cover can be easily removed for cleaning.  The DayDreamer Sleeper can be used on newborns and older infants.  For safety reasons, it's important that baby be secured in the harness at all times and the DayDreamer Sleeper is used only on a floor.  It should not be used in a crib or bassinet.  Rather than baby sleeping straight on their back, they are able to have a more natural sleeping position with the 28 degree incline. 
The DayDreamer Sleeper base is sturdy and the harness is easy to buckle open and close.  The cover is quite soft and it's effortless to remove for wash.  Because of its material, I recommend that the cover not be paired in the wash with other apparel that might cause it to pill.  Parents sometimes need their hands free to do other things and the DayDreamer Sleeper is excellent for keeping baby nearby while still being able to keep an eye on the infant.

Rediscover SPAM - #HormelFamily

I received products as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Every day our inboxes are flooded with spam.  Can't say I've ever heard of a person who likes getting emails about fake lottery winnings, thinner thigh miracle creams, or how to snag Mr. Right.  I have, however, heard of people who like SPAM, the canned meat.  And I'm right there with them!   

SPAM® is beloved by families all around the world. Whether you grew up with SPAM®, or are just waiting for the perfect opportunity to try it out, its rich history is sure to fascinate you! Click around the 77 years-worth of SPAM® for interesting facts or check out recipes like Buffalo SPAMBURGER™ Hamburgers or SPAM® Mmmmusubi on

Did you know that Hormel Foods introduced SPAM luncheon meat in 1937 or that 1991 was the debut of the annual State Fair Best SPAM Recipe Contest?  Billions of cans of SPAM have been sold, and it's a popular household staple. 

What's your favorite way to eat SPAM?  My favorite way to fix it is grilled to a golden crunch. 

Now that I've got your appetite yearning for some SPAM, I'll leave you with this SPAM® Mmmmusubi recipe:


1 12-ounce can SPAM® Teriyaki, cut into 8 slices
2 cups white sticky rice
4 whole sheets nori, cut in half lengthwise


In large skillet, cook SPAM® Teriyaki until lightly browned and crisp.

Place 1/4 cup rice into musubi press. You may also use your empty SPAM® can as a musubi press.

Place one slice of SPAM® Teriyaki on top of rice.

Remove SPAM® Teriyaki and rice from musubi press.

On work surface, lay nori shiny-side down; top with SPAM® mixture. Wrap up and repeat. Serve immediately.

All Right, Cancer, Enough is Enough!

As mom lays in the hospital bed, hardly able to keep her eyes open, all I can do is sit and cry.  I wonder if I'm mentally strong enough.  I think about her future.  Then I cry some more.
If it's not one thing, it's another.  My mother was sent back to the hospital last Saturday, and hasn't been out since.  And won't be anytime soon. 
It all started a couple months ago when she was diagnosed with lung cancer, and it's been a crazy chaos of sickness since then. 
Mom was started on a chemo and radiation regimen.  Radiation everyday, and chemo once a week.  So far, she hasn't gotten one full session of chemo.  She became unconscious several times and was sent to the ER.  Not knowing what was wrong, she was sent home.  Two days later she was sent back with the same episodes. 
At this time, doctors believe the episodes of passing out are caused by Absence Seizures.  Add that to the top of the list of things already wrong!  She's losing weight and becoming weaker.  The cancer doctor won't do chemo on  her again until she's feeling stronger and doing better.  It's a Catch 22.  She needs the chemo to fight the cancer, but the cancer and other illnesses are keeping her from getting the chemo.
Yesterday was even more heartbreaking news.  Mom doesn't get to come home.  She was admitted to the Rehab Unit in the hospital for approximately two weeks.  There she will receive three hours of physical and occupational therapy a day, in addition to the radiation.  It's her new home for the time being.
Watching the downward spiral is killing me.  I'm emotionally drained and sleep deprived.  But it's not about me.  It's about getting her better.  Although I have a handful of family and friends that genuinely care, I sometimes feel alone in all this.  I feel disconnected.  My mind is consumed with it.  She's not my "normal" mom and I'm not strong enough to accept that. 
 Mom and I both have a lot of faith.  We believe in "God's will and God's way".  Everyone has hard times and trials in their lives.  This is one for our family.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Principle Gang Series - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received books for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Book 1: Don’t Judge a Lizard by His Scales (Aug 2014)
Book 2: Wizard Lizard Rides the Subway (Oct 2014)

There are No Bullies Allowed in The Principle Gang, a new 6-book series that teaches three important anti-bullying lessons: 1) Don’t be mean, 2) Tell your teacher, and 3) Be a friend. Questions at the end of each book encourage kids, parents and caregivers to engage in thought-provoking conversations about family, friendship, community and fairness.

I was able to review the first two books of The Principle Gang series, Don't Judge a Lizard by His Scales and Wizard Lizard Rides the Subway. The other books are not yet available.

An engaging way to teach children about how to treat others, The Principle Gang series features Danny the Wizard Lizard and Bli the Fly. In the first book, Danny tries to be friends with Bli but she is skeptical because her mother has told her that lizards will eat flies. After some pleading, the mother gives in and lets the two become friends. There is some skepticism at first but Danny wins the heart of bli and her mother after he saves the day from a group of bullies. The first book teaches children not to stereotype or judge a book by its cover.

Wizard Lizard Rides the Subway, the second book in the series, has Danny and Bli on a trip to The Big Apple. Danny has received an award for saving the day and it's in New York where he receives the award. While him and Bli are there, they tour the big city and help spearhead an anti-bully program.

While it's not necessary to read the first book before the second, the latter will make more sense if it's done that way. In the back of each book are conversation starters that help children delve deeper into how to be a friend and steps to take in cases of bullying. The illustrations are colorful and the storylines are fetching.

Your child can take the PG Oath and become a member of the Principle Gang. By taking the oath, your child promises to abide by positive messages and principles.

Win It!

One person will win hardcover copies of both books in The Principle Gang Series.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA and Canada.*

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How to Zap Zombies - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received book for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

With clever text and whimsical illustrations, How to Zap Zombies will help kids banish their fears of the undead-and have fun doing it! Kids will love these clever tricks and tips for getting rid of zombies.

With a frightening appearance and an insatiable craving for braaaains, zombies are truly terrifying creatures. Armies of these eerie undead monsters roam with their arms in the air, inspiring fear in the bravest of people. Fortunately, even the toughest of the walking dead can be defeated, and this book is filled with all the tips and tricks you need to face them down!

My Review:

With an onrush of movies, books and television shows, zombies are all the rage. Children can get in on the zombie craze with this witty hardcover book. How to Zap Zombies features green creatures with red eyes who try to ignite fear into children. Reading the book, kids can "learn" how to defeat zombies and which kinds of zombies need which kind of armament for defeat. Although the book showcases monsters, it's not scary. It's told in amusing slapstick form.

Win It!

One person will win a hardcover copy of How to Zap Zombies.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA and Canada.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway