Monday, November 17, 2014

Big Hero 6 Fun!

Last week the kids and I went to see Big Hero 6 and we all LOVED it.  What a great movie!!  Have you been yet?  If you haven't had a chance I would definitely recommend it as a great family fun day.  Because we loved the movie so much I wanted so share a little Big Hero 6 fun with you with this "Spot the Difference" worksheet (we call them finds in our house!).  Have fun!!

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Spirit Bear....Review and giveaway!

It is no secret that our family has a real love of books.  I am especially fond of children's books and am always happy to introduce the kids to a new book.  The other day, my daughter and I sat down for story time with a brand new book called Spirit Bear by Jennifer Harrington and illustrated by Michael Arnott.  Spirit Bear is not only a wonderful story to read aloud but it also helps teach children about endangered animals.  Here is the scoop....

Spirit Bear is the story of Annuk, a young spirit bear cub happily growing up in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia. Annuk learns what it means to be different when he discovers that he is white instead of black, like the rest of his family. He is a spirit bear, born with pure white fur from head to toe. One day, while testing his fishing skills, he slips and falls into the river and is swept downstream, far from the safety of his mother. Alone and lost, Annuk must make his way home through the many challenges and dangers of the rainforest. Along the way he is befriended by Kaya, a young sea wolf cub who knows the forest well, and helps him to escape the predators he encounters on his way back to his family. An entertaining story for kids of all ages!

Our Thoughts:  This book kept my daughter (she is 5) engaged from the first page!  The bear, Annuk, was adorable and we thoroughly enjoyed following him on his great adventure.  My daughter particularly enjoyed spotting the other animals on the pages of the book as Annuk encountered them along the way.  The book was exciting for her (will Annuk EVER make it back safely??) without being too scary for the age range the book is intended for.

When my twin boys got home from school later that same day (they are 8) I sat down and read the book to them as well.   They were very interested in the different animals (there are 22 in the book and many are endangered in Western Canada) and it sparked some great conversation about what it means to be an endangered species, why it happens and what we can do to help.  I would highly recommend Spirit Bear not only as a great story book but an excellent teaching tool for children to help them learn about endangered species.

You can find out more about Spirit Bear on the Eco Books Kids website as well as purchase the book.

I am so excited to tell you that Eco Books 4 Kids is giving one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader a copy of Spirit Bear as well as the "Teachers Package" which includes an animated version of the book plus a short educational film with footage of real spirit bears and other wild, Canadian animals....a $29.95 value! Thanks so much to the sponsor and here is how to enter.... a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom....Review & Giveaway!

Years ago I fell in love (like many!) with a book called Tuesday's with Morrie.  I was further swept away by The Five People You Meet in Heaven.  It should come as no surprise then, when I was given the opportunity to review the latest from Mitch Albom, The First Phone Call From Heaven that I did a little happy dance.  I couldn't wait to read this one!  Before I get into what I thought, here is the synopsis from the Harper Collins website...

About the Book

The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief—and a page-turner that will touch your soul—Albom's masterful storytelling has never been so moving and unexpected.
Readers of The Five People You Meet in Heaven will recognize the warmth and emotion so redolent of Albom's writing, and those who haven't yet enjoyed the power of his storytelling, will thrill at the discovery of one of the best-loved writers of our time.

I am happy to report that Mitch Albom continues to win my book loving heart.  As with all my experiences with this author's books, there are a strong cast of characters who you will root for and become invested in. From the police chief who lost his son in Afghanistan to a real estate agent who lost her sister to the main character, Sully, there is someone for every reader to connect with.  As I was reading the book I kept thinking of the "what if's".  I am sure we can all put ourselves in frame of mind of what we would do if we received a call from a lost loved one.  What would we do?  How would we react?  This book is most definitely one that will get you thinking about the possibilities of what life would be like if something like this were to happen.

In addition to the main story, Albom has interwoven the true story of Alexander Graham Bell into the background.  I felt this piece really added to the book and gave it depth.  I liked the bit of true history balanced into the tale.

On top of being an account of human spirit this book is a mystery at its' core!  I don't want to give away any of the mystery but I will say that there were parts of the book that I found very surprising and that is what kept me fervently turning pages.   I also found the cast of characters to be engaging and true to how people would act if actually faced with this kind of phenomenon.   This books is ideal for the book lover in your life and would make a thoughtful gift for anyone on your holiday list.  You can purchase the book directly from Harper Collins HERE.

I am so happy to tell you that Harper Collins has graciously offered a copy of The First Phone Call from Heaven to one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader!  Click the Rafflecopter link to enter.  Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

The Hunger Games: MockingJay-Part 1....Out November 21!!

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 opens nationwide November 21, 2014!

Are you all as excited as I am for the upcoming release of The Hunger Games:  MockingJay-Part 1?  I can't wait!!  I  have loved the other movies and am hoping to be there on opening night to see the latest installment!  Here is the scoop on what we have to look forward to....

 The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong, from an adaptation by Suzanne Collins and produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the third in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone.

You pre-order tickets for the movie (you KNOW it will sell out!) by clicking this link.....

Pre-order MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Tickets here:

Enjoy the show!

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates...Special Reader Offer!

Time was when Marie Cavanaugh spent hours in her South Dakota farmhouse each Christmas season making pecan rolls and homemade chocolates for holiday gifting.

"It started when my aunt sent her pecan-rolls recipe," Mrs. Cavanaugh recalled. "I gave the recipe my own touch and started making the yummy specialties. Then I began dipping chocolates. Our friends and neighbors loved these treats, encouraging me to start a candy business. Finally, I decided it might be a good idea.'"

Her husband George and children Carla, Lorraine, Calvin, Colene and Genise rallied, helping Mrs. Cavanaugh fill demands for her homemade sweets.

...In 1972, the family moved to Utah, leaving good friends and their beloved cattle ranch.

"It was a difficult decision, especially for George," Mrs. Cavanaugh said. "He was excited about making our new venture, which we chose to call Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies, a great success. We felt Utah was blessed with good chocolates and that we would enjoy - and could compete with - those who pride themselves on making excellent chocolates."

Millions of pounds of chocolates later, Mrs. Cavanaugh's candies have earned a reputation for unquestionable excellence....
Ask chocolate aficionados. They will direct those seeking the best chocolates to the popular Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies.

Deal Alert: My readers receive Buy 1 lb Get 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates use promo code: usfamily14 Pin It

Harvest Snaps...Review & Giveaway!

This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps. I have been compensated for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

As the mom of three growing children I am always on the hunt for snacks that are not only tasty but HEALTHY as well.  I want snacks for the kids lunchboxes that will not come home unopened but I also want them to be ones I can feel good about packing.  This is can be a real challenge for me especially when it comes to one of my kiddos who extremely (like over the top!) picky AND has food allergies.

When I received the opportunity to review Harvest Snaps I was intrigued yet skeptical.  Harvest Snaps are snack crisps made from peas and lentils. Yup, peas and lentils!  How can you not feel good about serving your family peas and lentils?!  Now for the tricky would they taste??  We received 6 bags of Harvest Snaps to try in the following flavors: Caesar, Tomato Basil, Lightly Salted, Onion Thyme, Black Pepper and Wasabi Ranch.

I couldn't wait to dive into a bag. I first chose Lightly Salted and it was love at first bite.  The crisps are light, crunchy and flavorful.  They had the impression of a chip without a trace of grease.  They are delicious!  But what would the kids think???  It was a slam dunk!  All three of the kiddos loved Harvest Snaps and they are now a go to snack.  In our home all of the flavors went over over well with the exception of the Wasabi ones which my husband and I loved but were too spicy for the kids.

Harvest Snaps are now a staple in our lunchboxes.  They taste great and are so much healthier than traditional crunchy snacks.  They are baked not friend, have loads of fiber, are low in sodium and are gluten free.  Harvest Snaps are most definitely snacks you can feel good about!

Not only are Harvest Snaps healthy and tasty snack options but the company is bursting with fun. Check out this fun podcast...

To find out more about Harvest Snaps and where to buy them, visit their website HERE.

GIVEAWAY ALERT!  I am so pleased to tell you that the kind folks at Harvest Snaps are giving one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader a Harvest Snaps Snack Pack (the variety I received above). Thank you so much to the sponsor and here is how to enter... a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Orkin "Mouse in the House" Giveaway! Ends 11/15

Have you ever had a mouse in your house?  I never have and I am not sure how I would react!  Thye look cute in pictures and at the pet store but I think I would feel differently about one chomping away in my cupboards or darting across my floors!  Orkin has a fun new game called "Mouse in the House" and some tips on how to get your house winter ready from pests.  Here is the scoop....

Fall has arrived, and cooler weather has come with it. Whether or not you know it, your warm house is an open invitation to unwanted guests looking for a cozy winter vacation: rodents. Each fall, rodents migrate from their outdoor “summer home” to the warmth, food and shelter of their “winter timeshare” – your house!
Being human has its perks, like having a cozy house to enjoy during the winter, but imagine having to survive as a mouse? Try your luck by playing “Mouse in a House” – a choose-your-own-adventure game that puts you in the shoes of a rodent looking to survive the upcoming harsh winter season – try your best to stay alive and see how long you last!
Orkin uses the latest technology and unparalleled training to develop an effective treatment that's right for your home. To learn more about pest control grounded in science or to schedule an inspection, visit or call 1-800-800-ORKIN®.
Orkin Pest Control Facebook Page:
Ask The Orkin Man® Twitter Page:
Orkin YouTube Channel:



I am so pleased to tell you that one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader will receive a cozy 4x6 Winter Fleece Blanket!  Follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter.  Thanks so much to the sponsor and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fire Safety with Planes Fire & Rescue!

Did you know this week is Fire Safety Week? Who better to help the little ones in your life to understand this important topic than the fun characters from Planes: Fire & Rescue?! Click the link below for great tips and fun games....
Download Fire Safety Activities

Don't forget Planes Fire & Rescue comes out on DVD on November 4th. We saw this over the summer at the drive in and the whole family loved it! Pin It

Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Complete Series....Coming October 21st!

One of my most favorite shows when I was a kid was Pee-wee's Playhouse....that laugh, the "secret word", the fun and funky house were all enough to promise  hilarity for a Saturday morning!  I even had the doll!  Now, as an adult, I can really appreciate that the show was far ahead of its' time in terms of creativity and the use of Claymation.  It really was a remarkable show. 

There is great news for Pee-wee fans old and new...on October 21st the whole series will be available for purchase!   This is on my wish list for sure.

For those of you new to the show (what?!), here is some background....

Experience Pee-wee’s Playhouse like never before! All 45 wacky episodes, plus the Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, have been meticulously remastered from the original film elements — and now you can see this ground-breaking series for the first time in beautiful high-definition! 
Scream along to the secret word with Pee-wee Herman and his pals: Jambi the Genie, Miss Yvonne, Cowboy Curtis, Reba the mail lady, Captain Carl, Magic Screen, Conky, Globey, Chairry, Pterri, Randy and all the rest. Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series Blu-ray box set, with special bonus content, debuts on home entertainment shelves October 21, 2014 from Shout! Factory.  Also available to own on the same day is Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons One and Two in a high-definition 4-DVD set.  Mecka-lecka hi, Mecka-hiney ho!
Winner of an amazing 22 Emmy® Awards, Pee-wee’s Playhouse is a cultural touchstone for a generation, and its visually dynamic design and offbeat sense of humor were a genuine phenomenon.  Whether reliving childhood memories or introducing this beloved series to a new generation, the newly re-mastered Pee-wee’s Playhouse will take you back to being a kid.  This is an essential Blu-ray collection for loyal fans and collectors.

As well as a clip of the super cool re-mastering process....

You can pre-order yours today on Amazon....

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Big Hero 6....Coming November 7th!

Happy Monday, Readers! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! I figured I would start the week off with something is a clip from Big Hero 6 which comes out in less than a month. The kids and I went to the movies earlier this week and saw the preview for Big Hero 6 and all of us can't wait to see it when it comes to theaters. Enjoy!
From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind “Frozen” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” comes “Big Hero 6,” an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit), a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter). When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voice of Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (voice of Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voice of Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voice of T.J. Miller). Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.”
Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring breathtaking action with all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”). The film hits theaters in 3D on Nov. 7, 2014. 
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Trucks Versus Wild...Out 1/21 & Giveaway!

Do you have a child in your life who loves all things that go?  If so, you must introduce  him or her to the charming show The Adventures of Chuck & Friends if you have not done so already.  The series from Hasbro has a brand new DVD coming out on January 21st and it is sure to please both old fans and new.  Here is the scoop...

The unbelievably fun adventures of Chuck, the little dump truck with big dreams, and his friends—Digger, Handy, Rowdy, Biggs, Boomer and Flip — continue on January 21, 2014 with the release of The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Trucks Versus Wild on DVD from Shout! Factory Kids. Featuring 10 more exciting episodes from The Adventures Of Chuck & Friends, watch as Chuck and the gang have adventures with a helpful mechanic, a camping trip, a star-studded trip to the beach and more in these awesome cartoons guaranteed to put fun into high gear! Priced to own at $12.97, The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Trucks Versus Wild also contains a brand new sing-along.
The Adventures of Chuck & Friends series is currently airing on The Hub TV Network in the U.S. and on Treehouse in Canada.

Episodes Include:
1. The Checkup
2. Chuck’s Perfect Plans
3. Trucks Vs. Wild
4. Kid Stuff
5. As The Engine Coughs
6. Beach Blanket Uh-Oh
7. Fender Bender
8. Sleep-Driving Chuck
9. Mind Your Own Business
10. The Pothole

Bonus Features:
Also includes a brand new sing-along!

You can pre-order this DVD now from Amazon by clicking HERE.

 I am so pleased to tell you that Shout! Factory is giving one lucky RBM reader The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Trucks Versus Wild! Thanks to the sponsor and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

Mr. Peabody & Sherman...Coming March 7th!

The kids and I love heading to the movies and I know for sure we will be going on March 7th to see Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Check it out...

 Who will you head to the movies with to watch this one? Pin It

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Edible Snowmen...The Perfect Snow Day Snack!

As I have been writing about (again, and again...sorry!) it is cold here right now.  I think it is cold everywhere though, right??  In any case, we have been trying to make the best of the chilly temperatures by heading outdoors and even  having some snow themed snacks.  The other day we make Edible Snowmen and they were a big hit. They are easy, fun to make and a sweet little pick me up for when winter has you down. 

Here is what you need....

Round, Mini Powdered Donuts
Candy for Buttons (we used peanut M&M's)
Black tube frosting
Gummy or Jelly Candy for Nose (I used orange slices)

How to Do it....

Put three powdered donuts on skewers to make the form of a snowman.  Dab frosting(this is your glue!) on each of the donut middles.  Put candy for buttons  in the bottom two donuts. In the top put in your nose.  Use black frosting to make eyes and mouth. 

Easy, right?  It was and it earned me mega mom points!  These would be fun for a winter party too.  Will you make these with your kiddos?  Let me know how they turn out!

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New Coupons! Print them Here Before They are Gone!!


$1.00 off one Simply Orange, any variety
$1.00 off On any One (1) Silk Half Gallon
$0.75 off Wonka or Nestle Crunch Candy & Card Kits
$1.00 off any (1) ZonePerfect multipack
$1.50 off Any New Robitussin
$3.00 off one Florastor probiotic


SAVE $1.50 on any TWO (2) ACT® Mouthwashes, Rinses, or Dry Mouth Lozenges (excludes 3 oz)
SAVE $1.00 on any ONE (1) ACT® Dry Mouth Mouthwash (18 or 33 oz) or Lozenge (18 ct)


Save $3.00 Off 2 Blue Coral Wiper Blades at Family Dollar
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Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF 20...Review and Giveaway!

I have a fantastic product to tell you about today...the Miracle Skin Transformer Face SPF 20. If you are looking for makeup that will give you a flawless complexion without feeling "cakey" this is the product for you.  Here is the scoop....

A breakthrough 5-in-1 tinted skin enhancer designed to Hydrate, Prime, Enhance, Mattify & Protect your skin in one simple step. This multi-tasking complexion enhancer instantly provides your skin with an antioxidant-rich hydrating base, primed smooth finish, weightless coverage, and SPF20.
Instantly improve skin tone, luminosity, and texture. Evenly smooth out and minimize the look of pores, fine lines, and pigmentation imperfections. MIRACLE SKIN TRANSFORMER SPF20 FACE leaves your skin with a smooth, radiant, airbrushed complexion in seconds

I have actually been using Miracle Skin Transformer for the past couple of years.  It is amazing.  When you put it on, it glides on your skin in a light, almost powdery feel that I would not expect from a cream.  It gives great coverage without being too heavy.  It comes in 7 shades so you are sure to find the perfect match. To sum it up?  It looks like your skin...only better!  Just a tiny dab improves skin tone by evening out discolorations and imperfections.  In addition to making you instantly look better, Miracle Skin Transformer hydrates your skin AND has an SPF. This product is a real powerhouse and does the job of many.  If you are looking for a top notch skin care product that will improve your skin and save you time, Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20 Face is the product for you.  Visit the Miracle Skin website to purchase and to view the entire line of products.

I am so pleased to tell you that one lucky Reviewed by Mom reader will win a Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20 Face in the shade of their choice. Thanks so much to the sponsor and good luck!  To enter use the Rafflecopter form below.... a Rafflecopter giveaway Pin It

Toys R Us $100 Gift Card Winter Days Giveaway!

Welcome to the Toys"R"Us $100 Gift Card Winter Days Giveaway sponsored by Demagogue and hosted by The Parenting Patch!

 Although the winter days seem long, soon the dog days of summer will be here. To pass the winter days by, how does a $100 gift card to spend at Toys"R"Us sound? Get some indoor toys to pass the winter by, or start getting ready for outside play this summer. One (1) lucky reader of The Parenting Patch and Demagogue will win one (1) $100 gift card to Toys"R"Us. To enter for your chance to win the Toys"R"Us $100 Gift Card Winter Days Giveaway, simply use the following Rafflecopter form. Good luck!
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Toys"R"Us $100 Gift Card Winter Days Giveaway is open worldwide. An international winner will receive $100 via PayPal in lieu of the specified prize. The Toys"R"Us $100 Gift Card Winter Days Giveaway ends at midnight CST on January 30, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. The Parenting Patch and other participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Pin It

Free Printable Valentines!

Little Passports has Valentines Day Cards for Everyone!
Think it's too early? It's not! Valentines day will be here before you know it and I have some Little Passports Valentines Day Card Printables that your child can share with his/her friends. These are perfect for homeschool groups too!

Have you ever wondered how to say ‘I love you’ in German? How about in Tagalog? Our Little Passports Valentine’s Day cards include ‘Love’ and ‘I love you’ in languages from around the world! To share the love, simply download, print, and pass one to your valentine! Here are some Little Passports "I Love You" Translations From Around The World!:

Jeg elsker Dig: Danish
Ik Hou Van Jou: Dutch
Te Amo: Spanish
I love you: English
Je T'aime: French
S'agapo: Greek
Sarang Hae Yo: Korean
Ech hun dech Gaer : Luxembourgish
Mahal Kita: Tagalog
Iay Ovlay Ouyay: Pig Latin
Saya Cinta kamu: Indonesian
Mina Rakastan Sinua: Finnish
Ich Liebe Dich: German
Wo Ai Ni: Chinese
Ya Tebya Liubliu: Russian
Aishiteru: Japanese
Hum Tumhe Pyar Karte hae: Hindi

Little Passports enables you to teach your child about the hundreds of different cultures around our world and around the USA! Each month, a package addressed to your kids (which they LOVE) arrives full of little goodies like stickers for their own passport, activity sheets that teach them about major landmarks around the world and gets their brain going with fun word scrambles! Little Passports even shares fun recipes that you can cook up with your kids to turn them into little chefs who know all about foods from different cultures. Subscriptions start at just $10.95/month which is another bonus! This is also the perfect resource for anyone who homeschools out there. Let me know what you think after you get set up with your own Little Passports subscription.

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