Friday, February 16, 2018

National Geogprahic's Welcome Little One: A Keepsake Baby Book...Review and Prize Pack Giveaway!

I can't wait to share the cutest baby book with you guys. I swear for a few minutes, as I was flipping through the pages, I wanted another baby just so I could use this book It is THAT darling!  Welcome Little One:  A Keepsake Baby Book from National Geographic is a must for parents-to-be!  Here is the scoop...
This stunning journal is filled with beautiful National Geographic photography and inspiring prose: the perfect way for parents to record their infant's first year from birth to birthday--and all the memories in between. Insert includes milestone stickers to capture all the memories of baby's first year.Welcome Little One is designed to help parents capture the special moments before, during, and after the birth of their new child. The ideal gift for the new parents-to-be, this beautiful book includes removable stickers for each monthly milestone, ensuring that every moment of baby's first year is celebrated with love. Bursting with color illustrations, heartwarming poems and sayings, and plenty of opportunities to personalize each page with your own memories, this special book introduces the new baby to a world of beauty, promise, and hope--and is sure to be treasured for years to come.

My Thoughts:  Oh boy (or girl!).  This baby book is just so sweet and the perfect place to record all those special milestones.  I think it is the perfect balance of information....plenty of spots and prompts to write but not so overwhelming that when you are sleep deprived that you won't want to do it!  The book has spots for everything from photos and bios of mom and dad, sonogram photos, baby showers, month-to-month journaling and plenty of spots for photos....










Speaking of photos, please excuse the poor quality of mine.  I am using my phones' camera and it is NOT cooperating with me today!  The book is also filled with lovely animal photos that you would expect from National Geographic with great quotes.  I loved this picture of a baby zebra and mom next to a quote by one of my favorites, Roald Dahl...





Isn't that lovely? The book also comes with lots of stickers that coordinate with the book pages including those cute month-to-month ones that you can put on baby's onesie and take a photo of him/her in. 



This keepsake book is great on so many levels.  It is adorable, easy to use and includes everything you need to record all of baby's special moments.  This is a real treasure and would make a great baby shower gift!  You can pick yours up today on Amazon...






Win It!  I am so happy to tell you that one lucky follower will win Welcome Little one and an adorable seal plush (ARV $45!).  Thank you so much to the sponsor and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Top 100 Classic Radio Shows....Review & Giveaway!

I have such a great coffee table book to share with you today.  The Top 100 Classic Radio Shows book is out now and is completely fascinating.  Here is the scoop...
Revisit radio’s golden age with this classic compilation! The Top 100 Classic Radio Shows is a compendium of the top radio shows from the golden age of Hollywood. This book is chock-full of fascinating facts
and behind-the- scenes information about the best shows from every era, including the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. You’ll learn tantalizing tidbits about the shows and performers who made them famous. Includes comedies, Westerns, dramas, variety shows, mysteries
and suspense, sci-fi  and superheroes. Settle into your easy chair and get ready to revisit the golden oldies, including The Roy Rogers Show, The War of the Worlds, The Bob Hope Show, The Shadow, and much more. Each shows has its own dedicated spread. Three
audio CDs stored in a permanent enclosure in the back of the book features 6 radio shows, one from each genre, and additional shows are available for free download!



About the authors: Carl Amari is an actor, producer, and syndicated radio host. He
has spent 30+ years archiving and licensing over 100,000 original radio programs from networks and the estates of the creators. A 7-time Audie Award- winner and published author, Amari is the host and producer of the nationally syndicated radio shows Hollywood
360 and The WGN Radio Theatre. He also produces the nationally syndicated radio series The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas, hosted by Stacy Keach, and Fangoria's Dreadtime Stories, hosted by Malcolm McDowell. Amari also writes a monthly syndicated column, "Radio
360," in ReMIND magazine. 




Martin Grams Jr. is the author and co-author of over 20 books about old-time radio and retro television. A winner of numerous awards including the Ray Stanich Award and the Rondo
Hatton Classic Horror Award for Best Book of the Year, Martin frequently contributes to magazines including the Illustrated Press, Nostalgia Digest, and SPERDVAC's Radiogram. Among his publications are The Shadow: The History and Mystery of the Radio Program,
1930-1954, The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic, and The Green Hornet: A History of Radio, Motion-Picture, Comics, and Television. He currently lives in Airville, Pennsylvani
a.

My Thoughts:  As I said, this book would make a great coffee table book. It has all the elements you need.....interesting information and tons of pictures.  Radio shows pre-dates me but I definitely have memories of my parents and grandparents talking about favorite shows like Suspense.....

and The Roy Rogers Show...

























Flipping through the pages of this book is like stepping back in history and soaking up the entertainment of the times.  Each of the 100 shows featured gets 2 pages that include a cast list, air dates, plenty of pictures and lots of inside information.  It is full of interesting information and would make a wonderful and thoughtful gift for any entertainment buff.  It even includes 3 CD's and 72 free downloads so you can listen to the shows you read about!  You can pick up your copy today on Amazon...


Win It!  I am thrilled to tell you that one lucky Reviewed by Mom follower will win a copy of The Top 100 Classic Radio Shows! Thank you very much to the sponsor and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Little Pony: Friendshp is Magic-Spring Into Friendship....Out Now! Review & Giveaway!

Is anyone ready for Spring?  I know I sure am.  I am so over the snow and the cold.  I do know that it is only February (and Maine!) so Winter is still very much a part of my life  however....I will relish the spring themed items now hitting the shelves.  On Tuesday, the latest My Little Pony:  Friendship is Magic DVD hit the shelves.  Spring into Friendship is completely adorable and would make the perfect Easter basket addition!  Here is the scoop...
New adventures are blooming! MyLittle Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Spring Into Friendship is coming to DVD on February 13 in the U.S. and Canada from Shout! Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. 

Big trouble is on the horizon when Twilight Sparkle is given only two coveted tickets to the most anticipated event in town!


How will she decide which of her best friends gets to go with her? Discover the answer, and see four more amazing pony tales, as Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Fluttershy help usher Springtime into Equestria!


My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Spring Into Friendship carries a suggested list price of $14.98 and is now available for pre-order at amazon.com and shoutkids.com.”

Episodes Include:
  • The Ticket Master
  • Sisterhooves Social
  • Just For Sidekicks
  • Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 1
  • Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 2
Bonus Feature:
  • Sing-Along
Our Thoughts:  As always, My Little Pony delivers quality programming that children enjoy.  My 8 year old daughter loves this show and is always excited when a new collection comes out.  Strong, positive messages of friendship and teamwork abound in this collection featuring the characters kids have come to love.  This one is a must for MLP fans!  You can pick up your copy today on Amazon for less than $7!!!!




Win It!  One lucky Reviewed by Mom follower will win a copy of Spring Into Friendship!  Thanks to Shout! Factory and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Story is For You by Greg PIzzoli...Coming Soon!

I have such a charming book to tell you about today.  This Story is For you by Greg Pizzoli is such an absolutely lovely book and it will hit the shelves this April but I have a sneak peek  for you today....



A simple "It's nice to know you" holds so much power in this tender picturebook by acclaimed author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli. Finding value in others as a matter of course, the narrator accepts and appreciates difference as the foundation of a life-long friendship. This Story Is for You celebrates moments of kindness throughout, from the small to the grand in a heartwarming tale of human connection.

The warm, comforting text shares the tone of a Ruth Krauss classic and is balanced by Greg's energetic color palette and signature visual humor. This book is sure to be a special read for parents, children, and their friends for years to come.


Our Thoughts:  I am a giver of books. For birthdays, holidays and baby showers I like to give favorites (old and new).  I have several that I always give for baby shower gifts.  I tend to shy away from the board books (people get so many of those!) and give books that will become well-read favorites over the years to come.  This Story is For You will now be added to my baby shower gift book "must" pile.  It is so very sweet and kind and is filled with words of love and comfort.  It is the perfect connecting book for bedtime.  I really do just love it! 

From celebrating the al the wonderfully unique ways you are the "only you"....



















To the thrill and wonder that comes from having new experiences  in life...


To the complete joy of coming back to loved ones after being apart....







This book is just so very touching.  The language is calming and the illustrations are whimsical giving big appeal for kids and parents alike.  This book is a real stand-out in my opinion and I would  most definitely pre-order your copy today....



Thank you to Disney Hyperion Books for providing me with this advanced copy for review and introducing me to a new favorite!

The Ambrose Deception.....Out Now!

On Tuesday a brand new book for middle grades was released and it is sure to get even the most reluctant readers eagerly flipping the pages. The Ambrose Deception by Emily Ecton is out now and is a must-read for kids in the 9-12 age range. Here is the scoop...

Melissa is a nobody. Wilf is a slacker. Bondi is a show-off. At least that's what their middle school teachers think. To everyone's surprise, they are the three students chosen to compete for a ten thousand-dollar scholarship, solving clues that lead them to various locations around Chicago. At first the three contestants work independently, but it doesn't take long before each begins to wonder whether the competition is a sham. It's only by secretly joining forces and using their unique talents that the trio is able to uncover the truth behind the Ambrose Deception--a truth that involves a lot more than just a scholarship.

With a narrative style as varied and intriguing as the mystery itself, this adventure involving clever clues, plenty of perks, and abhorrent adults is pure wish fulfillment.

Our Thoughts:  I have twins who are 11 and are big fans of adventure type books like The Harry Potter series, Percy Jackson as well as comic type books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  This book appealed to the boys right away.  The premise was a little reminiscent of a series they read called The 39 Clues but it had its' own fun and exciting spin.  The books is told from the perspective of three middle schoolers  who are VERY different but all (surprisingly!) competing for the same exclusive scholarship.

My boys thoroughly enjoyed the adventure aspect of the story.  How fun is a treasure hunt around Chicago?!  Add the intrigue and mystery behind the scholarship and they were hooked.  I think this book is perfect for kids in the 4-8 grades.  This book  has plenty of action and interesting characters and is the kind of book that will help kiddos get their reading minutes in.  I know how hard it can be to get kids to settle down and read.  Between the busyness of school, sports, screens and clubs it can be really challenging to fit reading in but, when you have an exciting book in hand, it sure makes it a lot easier!  You can find The Ambrose Deception today at your local bookstore of find it here....





Thanks to Disney-Hyperion for providing me with the book review so I could share it with you!

In Search of Fellini...Review & Giveaway!

If you are in need of a "grown-up" movie night, I have a unique film for you to enjoy. In Search of Fellini was just release on DVD late last month and I was lucky enough to be send a copy for review. Here is the scoop...
Based on Nancy Cartwright's true adventure. Lucy, a small-town girl from Ohio, has been shielded from all the bad in the world by her mother Clair, including Clair s own terminal illness. Claire s no BS sister urges Claire to break her silence before it s too late. Lucy, aware that something is up, goes to Cleveland for an ill-fated job interview. She stumbles upon a festival of Oscar-winning Federico Fellini s films and is instantly swept away. The cleverly enigmatic tragicomedy leaves Lucy aching for answers. In a burst of courage, she leaves home to find the filmmaker and unlock his mysterious enigma and her own. What follows is a strange and spectacular journey through the romantic dreamscapes of Italy, as she encounters characters, fantasies and nightmares from Fellini s films. Her journey, counterpoints Claire s gradual decline into death. Apart but connected, they fulfill both of their dreams as truth and fiction intertwine into the ultimate Felliniesque journey.

My Thoughts:  This is not your everyday film.  It is a bit quirky and doesn't have the special effects of a blockbuster movie.  But, you know what?  In Search of Fellini doesn't need all that because it has a whole lot more going for it.  This is the story of a young woman, Lucy and her self-discovery as she navigates life and the world.  The cinematography is breathtaking and left me wanting to hop on a plane to Italy. 
I also really enjoyed Ksenia Solo's portrayal of Lucy.  She brought life to this character as she comes of age on a big adventure in a whole new culture.  You will be on the edge of your seat with your heart aching as you wait to find out what happens to Lucy.  I also want to mention that this is based on the true life experiences of famed Simpson's name, Nancy Cartwright.  I found that fascinating and that fact only added to the appeal for me.    This film is beautiful, touching, unique and a must-see.  You can pick it up on Amazon today.
..



Win It!  I am so excited to tell you that one lucky RBM reader will win a copy of In Search of Fellini.  Thanks so much to the sponsor and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Baby Plan by Kate Rorick....Review & Giveaway!

Who is looking for a new book?  I just finished up one that will make you laugh out loud at the craziness that is modern day pregnancy and cry at the beauty and struggles of motherhood and relationships.  The Baby Plan by Kate Rorick is coming in March and I am happy to give you a sneak peek today....
In Kate Rorick’s first adult fiction novel, we enter the wild, bewildering world of modern pregnancies. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shake your head as you wonder where everyone’s sanity went...
Meet the mothers…
Nathalie Kneller: Nathalie’s plan: to announce her pregnancy now that she’s finally made it past twelve weeks! But just as she’s about to deliver (so to speak) the big news to her family, her scene-stealing sister barfs all over the Thanksgiving centerpiece. Yup, Lyndi’s pregnant too, swiping the spotlight once more…  
Lyndi Kneller:  Lyndi’s plan: finally get her life together! She’s got a new apartment, new promotion, new boyfriend. What she didn’t count on—a new baby! She can barely afford her rent, much less a state-of-the-art stroller…
Sophia Nunez: Sophia’s plan: Once she gets her daughter Maisey off to college, she’ll finally be able to enjoy life as make-up artist to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and girlfriend to one of rock’s hottest musicians. But after 18 years she discovers the stork is once again on its way…
Now these women are about to jump headlong into the world of modern day pregnancy. It’s a world of over the top gender reveal parties (with tacky cakes and fireworks); where every morsel you eat is scrutinized and discussed; where baby names are crowd-sourced and sonograms are Facebook-shared. And where nothing goes as planned...

My Thoughts:  I love a good book about relationships and, The Baby Plan, is really about how impending motherhood can knock you right off kilter and throw relationships completely off balance.  I thoroughly enjoyed being on the baby journey with all three of the characters and really appreciated all of their very different perspectives.  I also thought the author was very clever in how she wove all the main characters together.

I found myself laughing on more than one occasion over the craziness that comes into the lives of these three women.  The antics of the over the moon/over the top mom to Nathalie and Lyndi is pure comedy.  I also found myself rooting for each of the woman as they faced the life changing event of having your first baby.  This book was a fun read and one that I would most definitely recommend.  You can pre-order your copy today on Amazon...  


Giveaway Alert! I am excited to tell you that the publisher, Harper Collins, is giving one lucky Reviewed by Mom follower a copy of The Baby Plan. Thank to the sponsor and best of luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Minnie: Helping Hearts....Out now! Review & Giveaway!

Who is ready for Valentines Day?  It is right around the corner and Disney Junior had released the most adorable DVD to help little ones celebrate.   Minnie:  Helping Hearts is out now and would great Valentine for your little sweetheart.  Here is the scoop...




The Happy Helpers are on their way!  When their friends need help, these two BFFs are at the ready! As the Happy Helpers from Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Minnie and Daisy can complete any task at hand, whether they are babysitters, personal assistants, or cruise ship directors leading the Valentine’s Day dance contest! Every day is an exciting new adventure and you can always count on the Happy Helpers to show up with happy hearts and helping hands!

Voice Cast:

Russi Taylor as Minnie Mouse; Tress MacNeille as Daisy Duck; Bret Iwan as Mickey Mouse; Daniel Ross as Donald Duck; Bill Farmer as Goofy; April Winchell as Clarabelle Cow and Jim Cummings as Pete.

 Episodes:                          

  • The Happiest Helpers Cruise!
  • The Big Broadcast
  • Adventures in Buddysitting!
  • Lights! Camera! Help!
  • Grandpa Beagle’s Day Out
  •  Artful Helpers
  • Cuckoo La-La
  • Figaro’s New Friend
Our Thoughts:  As always, Disney Junior offers up lots of fun coupled with positive lessons for little ones.  Minnie and Daisy are classic favorites working together to problem solve all while having fun along the way.  Check out a clip here....






You can purchase Minnie: Helping Hearts on Amazon....


Win it! I am so excited to tell you that Disney Junior is giving one lucky Reviewed by Mom follower a copy of Minnie:  Helping Hearts!  Thanks so much to the sponsor and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Odd Child Out by Gilly Macmillan...Review & Giveaway!


It is almost the weekend which means it must be time for another great book!  Earlier this month I read Odd Child Out by Gilly Macmillan and this one is a must for readers who enjoy a good suspense novel!  Here is the scoop....





How well do you know the people you love…?
Best friends Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahad have always been inseparable.  But when Noah is found floating unconscious in Bristol's Feeder Canal, Abdi can't--or won't--tell anyone what happened.
Just back from a mandatory leave following his last case, Detective Jim Clemo is now assigned to look into this unfortunate accident.  But tragedy strikes and what looked like the simple case of a prank gone wrong soon ignites into a public battle.  Noah is British.  Abdi is a Somali refugee.   And social tensions have been rising rapidly in Bristol.  Against this background of fear and fury two families fight for their sons and for the truth.  Neither of them know how far they will have to go, what demons they will have to face, what pain they will have to suffer.
Because the truth hurts.

My Thoughts:  I had already read Gilly Macmillan before (What She Knew) and I had loved it so the bar was set pretty high for this book even before I opened it up.  I am happy to report that Odd Child Out lived up to the hype I had created!

This book is, at its' center, a story of friendship and family and how far you will go to protect those bonds.  The relationships are complicated and not always what they seem.  I found my loyalties shifting as I read the book because it was not always clear who was in the right and, honestly, sometimes nobody was in the right.  I really love the character of Jim Clemo (who is also in What She Knew) and I enjoyed how he tackled the case.  Macmillan is masterful at creating twists and turns so just when I thought I had everything figured out my theory would be blown out of the water.  I love it when that happens.  I also appreciated that the author created believable characters.  Each of the players had their own burdens and flaws that made them, not always likable but relatable and believable.  Because Odd Child Out covers a lot of ground....family, friendship, cultural tensions, I think it would make for a great book club pick.  You will have lots to talk about!

I enjoyed this book immensely and am at the edge of my seat waiting for Gilly Macmillan's next book!  Pick up your copy today at your local bookstore or on Amazon....


Win it!  I am so excited to tell you that one lucky Reviewed by Mom follower will win a copy of Odd Child Out!  Thank so much to the publisher and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ant-Man & The Wasp....Coming this Summer!

I know we are in the thick of winter but summer will be here before we know it. With the warm weather and sunshine comes lots of blockbuster movies.  I just received the trailer for Ant-Man & The Wasp which is coming out on July 6th and I know my boys will want to see this one!  Check it out....




Looks good, doesn't it!  Only a few more months and we will be at the theaters in shorts and t-shirts.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Sissi Collection DVD...Review & Giveaway!

You know what I love to do this time of year?  When it gets cold out and dark early in the day, I like to throw on sweats get on the couch under a fuzzy blanket and pop in a DVD.  BK (before kids!) I used to do this fairly regularly and I could kick myself for not appreciating that luxury!  Nowadays, time does not often allow for lazy couch days AND you can't just pop anything in the DVD player with the kiddos underfoot (I will NOT be binge watching the Sopranos again the way I did when I was 25 ha!).  So, when one of our brutally cold days hit and I found myself with a cold and sapped of energy I was happy to have been sent  The Sissi Collection.  Have you heard of it?  The Sissi movies came out in the 1950's and were just released on Blu-ray!  Here is the scoop....


At the age of seventeen, Romy Schneider vaulted to international stardom through her portrayal of Princess Elisabeth (Sissi) of Austria in the first of three lavish films directed by Ernst Marischka.  And, while she would go on to work with some of the most influential and daring European directors of the era, Schneider will always be remembered by this defining role in the internationally beloved series.  Newly restored in 2K and available for the first time ever on Blu-ray in North America, THE SISSI COLLECTION, priced at $74.95srp, includes the Cannes Golden Palm-Nominated "Sissi Trilogy" along with VICTORIA IN DOVER (1954), a precursor to the Sissi films in which Schneider plays Britain's Princess Victoria. 



In SISSI, the title tale from 1955, viewers embraced the 16 year-old Sissi as she traveled with her mother to the Austrian court in Ischl, where the engagement between her sister Helene and the young emperor Franz Josef (Karl Boehm) was to be announced.  Unfortunately for Helene, he falls for Sissi after meeting her while out fishing.  Sissi is also romantically engaged, but marriage comes with a price -- Archduchess Sophie, his arrogant and headstrong mother!  The sequel, SISSI: THE YOUNG EMPRESS (1956) follows the magnificent imperial wedding in Vienna and finds Sissi settling down to everyday life as empress.  Unfortunately, the strong-willed Sissi and her domineering mother-in-law cannot see eye to eye, and the conflict is heightened with the birth of a daughter.  Ultimately, a truce is brokered and the young couple head from Hungary where they are crowned King and Queen.  In the final film in the beloved trilogy, SISSI: THE FATEFUL YEARS OF THE EMPRESS(1957), Sissi has proven her ability to not only handle affairs of state but also her mother-in-law.  But as the Queen travels to Hungary in an effort to calm the insubordinate nobility, Archduchess Sophie again causes trouble for her daughter-in-law. 



All of the remastered films in "The Sissi Trilogy" are presented in both 16:9 widescreen and the original theatrical full screen aspect ratios.

My Thoughts:  I had never seen the Sissi movies prior to receiving this DVD but I am so glad I watched!  What a charming collection.  The 1950's did not have the bells and whistles that we have today when it comes to cinema but, when you have a quality story line, you don't really need all that jazz.  

It was fun to watch these movies and get lost in the story line.  I am also a lover of historical fiction so this was right up my alley.  The lavishness of the life was fun to watch and I am not going to lie....I would give my right arm for Sissi's hair!  From the beginning to the end, I truly enjoyed watching Sissi blossom. From her squabbles with her mother-in-law (yikes!) to supporting her husband's political career, Sissi is full of grace and overall goodness.  The third film in the trilogy is a bit darker with Sissi suffering from TB and her pesky mother-in-law accusing her of infidelity but the overall vibe of Sissi is one of light.  This DVD set is a real gem!  You can pick this  up today on Amazon...


Win it!  I am so happy to tell you that one lucky RBM reader will win a copy of the Blu-ray of The Sissi Collection !  Thank so much to the sponsor and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway