Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review: "You Got This!" by Maya S. Penn


“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question commonly asked of children, but sixteen-year-old Maya S. Penn wants us to know that kids don’t need to wait to grow up to start making a difference in the world. She should know. She started her first company, Maya’s Ideas, when she was just eight years old. She designs clothing, gives TED Talks, and has her own non-profit, Maya’s Ideas 4 The Planet. I could cover this whole page with her accomplishments. And Maya wants people to know that her success is not due to her being some sort of prodigy or parental pawn. She’s done it all herself by using her own talents, creativity and thirst for knowledge; seeking out opportunities; and not letting her age stand in her way.

In You Got This! Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World, Maya shares her story and advice with young people. She tells them how to get support from their parents and other adults in their life, find practical ways of turning their ideas into reality, and not let the haters get them down. She encourages kids not to let fear stop them, provides techniques for keeping track of ideas and envisioning possibilities, and profiles other young people who have accomplished great things. Even as an adult reading this book, I was inspired by Maya’s enthusiasm and ideas. Perhaps I’ll create my own “dream board,” which Maya advises, and get started on turning my own ideas into reality.

You Got This! is inspirational precisely because it’s written by a kid for kids. It’s not a parental lecture or a teacher’s lesson. It shows children, tweens and teens that they are more creative than they think, and that there are ways to do what they dream of if they’re willing to put in the work and stay focused on their goals. Parents will also learn a lot about how to mentor their kids and even pursue their own dreams. This is a must-read for everyone.

Follow Maya at:
MayasIdeas.com
Twitter: @MayasIdeasShop
Facebook: MayasIdeas





Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my honest review, but all opinions are my own. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission on purchases made through this link.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (January 14, 2017)

Welcome to the Super Saturday Giveaway Linky! Did you survive Friday, the 13th? One of my sons was born on the 13th, and he thinks it's cool when it falls on a Friday. As you can tell, he's not the least bit superstitious! Let's celebrate luck by entering some giveaways. Check back daily to see what's been added to the linky below, as well as my right sidebar. And if you're hosting a giveaway on your blog, feel free to share it in the linky. Don't forget to post a link to this page on your social media sites.







Monday, January 09, 2017

Bloggers, Sign Up for the Lucky Clover Giveaway Event

Bloggers, I am excited to announce the next event from Andersons Angels, This Mamas Life, The More The Merrier & Woven by Words ~ the Lucky Clover Giveaway Hop. It will run from Monday March 6, 2017 at 12:00pm EST through Monday March 20, 2017 at 11:59pm EST. It's super easy to join in on the fun of getting ready for St Patty's Day!


Check out the guidelines:

Dates: March 6-20, 2017

You must have at least a $25 prize/package to be given away during the event. It can be anything! You may have more than 1 prize to give away, but each giveaway has to be at least $25.

Participation to be in the event is FREE!
Anyone worldwide is able to participate in this hop!

We prefer you to share the sign-up post for this event, as well as put the button on your sidebar! The more bloggers we get to sign up, the more traffic there will be during the event!

You must add the linky for the hop to your giveaway. We'll contact you to make sure you remember to get your post up by sending out a reminder email, or if something isn't right with your post once it is live. We want everyone's giveaways to do well!

DEADLINE: Sign-ups close on March 1, 2017. Details will be emailed by March 3. 

Hashtag: #LuckyClover

Have a question? Email us at:
Trista: teanderson05@andersonsangels.com, Amy: misavings1@gmail.com, Kay: klcmaher@moreismerrier.com or Mimi: wovenbywords@gmail.com


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Walt Disney Studios' 2017 Movie Highlights


Check out the upcoming 2017 release schedule from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It’s going to be an amazing year at the movies! Which movies are you looking forward to seeing? (My must-sees are "Beauty and the Beast" and "Star Wars"!)

March 17, 2017 – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Walt Disney Studios)
#BeautyAndTheBeast #BeOurGuest


The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film, “Beauty and the Beast,” the screenplay is written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos and produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, p.g.a. and Todd Lieberman, p.g.a. with Jeffrey Silver, Thomas Schumacher and Don Hahn serving as executive producers. Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated film, provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as three new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.

Watch the trailer!


April 21, 2017 – BORN IN CHINA (Disneynature)
#BornInChina


Narrated by John Krasinski (“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” NBC’s “The Office,” “Amazon’s “Jack Ryan”), Disneynature's new True Life Adventure film “Born In China” takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely caught on camera—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China’s vast terrain—from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest—on the wings of red-crowned cranes, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together. Opening in U.S. theaters on Earth Day 2017, “Born in China” is directed by accomplished Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan, and produced by Disney’s Roy Conli and renowned nature filmmakers Brian Leith and Phil Chapman.

Watch the trailer!



May 5, 2017 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (Marvel Studios)
#GotGVol2


Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Jonathan Schwartz, Victoria Alonso, Nik Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by James Gunn. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” blasts into theaters on May 5, 2017.

Watch the trailer!


May 26, 2017 – PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES (Walt Disney Studios)
#PiratesOfTheCaribbean #APiratesDeathForMe


Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack's only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs, Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are directing “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. The executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Joe Caracciolo, Jr., Terry Rossio and Brigham Taylor. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” drops anchor in U.S. theaters on May 26, 2017.

Watch the trailer!


June 16, 2017 – CARS 3 (Disney / Pixar)
#Cars3


Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), “Cars 3” cruises into theaters on June 16, 2017.

Watch the trailer!


November 3, 2017 – THOR: RAGNAROK (Marvel Studios)
#ThorRagnarok


In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!

“Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

Kevin Feige is producing with Louis D’Esposito, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. The story is by Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost and Stephany Folsom, and the screenplay is by Eric Pearson. “Thor: Ragnarok” thunders into U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017.

November 22, 2017 – COCO (Disney / Pixar)
#Coco


Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.

December 15, 2017 - STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII (Lucasfilm)
#StarWarsVIII
(More info and trailers coming soon!)

Friday, January 06, 2017

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (January 7, 2017)

Welcome to this week's Super Saturday Giveaway Linky. Let's start the year off right by entering some giveaways! Check out the many giveaways in the linky below, and be sure to visit the giveaways listed on my right sidebar, too. Come back daily to see what is new! And if you're hosting some giveaways this week on your blog, I hope you'll share them with us in the linky and give this page a shout-out on your social media sites.







Thursday, January 05, 2017

Warm Up This Winter with Karen Neuburger Pajamas (GIVEAWAY; Size M)



I could spend all day in pajamas, especially if they're from Karen Neuburger! These pajamas are so soft that I hate to change out of them in the morning, especially when it's cold outside. Even when I do drag myself out of bed, I've found that Karen Neuburger pajamas are perfect for lounging around in. Check out the pair to the right: With their cute styling, they're perfect for easing from night into day.

There are plenty of cold winter evenings ahead, and it's worthwhile to invest in some high-quality pajamas that will take you through the long winter and keep you warm. I've washed the pairs I've had numerous times, and they always come out of the washer just as soft as they were when I first got them.

I love the philosophy of founder Karen Neuburger -- “the best moments in life are experienced in pajamas.” If you’re searching for a wonderfully comfy pair of pajamas that you can sleep, relax and play in, or want a gift for someone special, pick up some Karen Neuburger pajamas! Click here to find a retailer: http://karenneuburger.com/retailers.


GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive her own pair of Karen Neuburger pajamas to keep warm on those cold winter nights! The sponsor only has size Medium left, but if you don't wear that size, these would make a great gift for someone who does! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:50 PM EST on Friday, January 20, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclosure: I received complimentary product samples to facilitate my honest review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

A Spotlight on Jo Malizia’s Wands and Wings Series for Middle-Graders

Jo Malizia’s Wands and Wings series -- Wands and Wings and Remember, You Must -- has a fantasy setting that middle graders will love! Check out the books in this series...

Wands and Wings:
How does a 12-year-old girl manage life with four sisters, middle school, and being Queen of The Fairy Realm? Tia Faylinn leads a double life. To most people, she’s the middle of five sisters and a seventh grader just trying to fit in at Neptune Falls Middle School. But Tia has an incredible secret -- she is also the Queen of The Fairy Realm. Tia lives an enchanted life between Earth and The Fairy Realm. But all that is about to change. A split that occurred in the Fairy Kingdom 400 years ago produced a bitter descendant who has returned to reclaim the throne. Now Tia and her four sisters must rely on their magic, wits, and cheerleading skills to battle the evil queen, Neferria. It’s a battle that affects Wishing Stars, Fairy Tales, the Birthday Wishes Bureau, the Department of Fairy Godmothers, and the very essence of life on Earth.
Purchase on Amazon 

Remember, You Must:
Tia Faylinn is finding it hard to cope with life now that she has turned thirteen. She is trying to adjust to life without her best friend, with no magical powers, and with the excitement of her first date. But life is not going to get any easier for Tia. The world is once again in great danger. Tia will have to travel through the pyramids of Egypt, stay at a very strange resort, and make a trip up a perilous mountain -- all in the hope she will regain her wand and wings. She must remember she is the Queen of the Fairies. Life on Earth depends on it.
Purchase on Amazon 



Author bio:
Jo Malizia grew up in Minnesota. She has been an ASL interpreter for many years and loves to translate stories into sign language for children. She is a member of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She currently lives on the Central Coast of California. Website: www.wandsandwingsbook.com.