Thursday, January 31, 2013

Escape from Planet Earth: Celebrate Its Launch into Theaters on February 14th with this Giveaway!

My kids are really excited about the upcoming movie, Escape from Planet Earth, which is coming to theaters on Valentine’s Day, February 14th!

About the movie: The 3D animated family comedy catapults moviegoers to planet Baab where admired astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is a national hero to the blue alien population. A master of daring rescues, Scorch pulls off astonishing feats with the quiet aid of his nerdy, by-the-rules brother, Gary (Rob Corddry), head of mission control at BASA. When BASA’s no-nonsense chief Lena (Jessica Alba) informs the brothers of an SOS from a notoriously dangerous planet, Scorch rejects Gary’s warnings and bounds off for yet another exciting mission. But when Scorch finds himself caught in a fiendish trap set by the evil Shanker (William Shatner), it’s up to scrawny, risk-averse Gary to do the real rescuing. As the interplanetary stakes rise to new heights, Gary is left to save his brother, his planet, his beloved wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) and their adventure-hungry son Kip (Jonathan Morgan Heit).

Doesn’t that sound cute? Head over to www.escapeearthmovie.com to watch the trailer, meet the characters, play games, check out photos, and more!

FREE ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH MOVIE APP:
To elevate the viewing experience, you can download the free “Escape from Planet Earth” Movie App that is available for iOS and for Android.

FREE ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH SUPER BOWL TOOL KIT!
To keep the kids occupied while you’re enjoying this weekend’s Super Bowl, download the Escape from Planet Earth Super Bowl Tool Kit! This kit includes fun activities that kids will enjoy, such as coloring books, a crossword puzzle, and web activities. CLICK HERE to get the Super Bowl Tool Kit! 


GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive:

(1) $25 Visa Gift Card
(1) Escape from Planet Earth Prize Pack (includes: Tattoo Sheet, activity book & crayons, and a backpack clip)

Escape from Planet Earth Prize Pack

To enter, simply fill out the easy Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, February 14, 2013.

Where Do Babies Come From? Kia Answers That Question in Its Adorable Ad for the Big Game! #SpaceBabies


Has your child ever asked a question that you weren’t sure how to answer, such as, “Where do babies come from?” Sooner or later, it’s going to happen, so you’d better be prepared with your answer! Meanwhile, I absolutely love this new Kia spot, which will air during the Big Game this weekend. You’ll see that the father comes up with a very creative answer when his son asks where babies come from while riding in the car. Enjoy!

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Kia Motors




Disclosure: I am a member of the Kia Social Club and may earn rewards for my participation. However, all opinions are 100% my own.

9 Creative Ways to Help Kids Say "I Love You"

Guest Post by Susie Monday


Got a tactile-learner? A kid who loves to dance? Or maybe your child really loves color? While every child has a constellation of Sensory Alphabet strengths (shape, color, movement and sound are just a few), your child probably has one or two that really stand out -- that you notice in his or her artwork or in elements of his or her collections and activities. Valentine’s Day crafts provide ways for parents to nurture these strengths and help kids say “I love you” in fun, creative ways. Below are craft ideas designed for each element of the Sensory Alphabet.

SHAPE: Is your child’s art always full of shapes? Cut out cookies! Make the process easier and faster by using dough from the grocery store refrigerator case. Find imaginative cookie cutters and combine shapes and words to say “I love you” in new ways.

SOUND: Let sound-oriented kids make a Valentine’s wind chime with metal, glass and wooden craft store finds. Throw in everyday household items like bowls and plates to create loving symphony.

COLOR: Make "stained glass" cookies with color-loving kids, using bread stick dough. Shape it to make the "leading" on a cookie sheet topped with foil. Use crushed colored sugar candies in the spaces, cook at 350 degrees and let the candies melt. Let cool before peeling off the foil. Experiment with the colors and explore what else can represent love besides red.

MOVEMENT: Have your kids spell out the letters of “I Love You” with their bodies, and then take pictures. These can be used to create a sweet card or frame.

LIGHT: Appoint the light-loving child as the official photographer for holiday events. A lesson in digital app photo editing (PhotoPad is free for the iPad) or in designing digital slideshows or print-on-demand books puts this creative eye into action.

TEXTURE: Make a Valentine’s card that focuses on touch rather than sight. Use bows, ribbons, homemade tassels and other textured embellishments. Feathers and sponge-and-paint prints are fun to cover things with.

SPACE: For little builders, create a giant heart using recycled boxes wrapped in plain paper or Popsicle sticks. Decorate it with stickers, markers, doilies and colored paper. When it’s done, create a set of keys, and have your child give them to family and loved ones.

RHYTHM: With your rhythm kid, fill small glass jars (such as baby food jars or small jelly jars) with a tablespoon of different shake-able items such as beans, rice, red-and-green beads, and metal washers. Decorate the lids with foil tied around the tops and stickers for patterns. Shake along to Valentine’s songs.

LINE: A linear thinker loves stories. Put him or her to work making handmade Valentine’s books using photos that tell a story about the great love stories in your family. Start with folded paper with a construction paper cover, hole-punched and tied with string or stitched down the center on the sewing machine for the binding.

Matching a creative thinking strength to the right set of materials and a fun challenge can make it more fun -- and help your child build from his or her strengths.

By Susie Monday, educator and artist and co-author of The Missing Alphabet, A Parents’ Guide to Developing Creative Thinking in Kids, with Susan Marcus and Dr. Cynthia Herbert.
http://www.themissingalphabet.com

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Free Valentine's Card Printables from Little Passports!

Saying I LOVE YOU has no language barrier. This Valentine’s Day, let Little Passports help you say I LOVE YOU in multiple languages!!!


CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE VALENTINE'S CARDS FROM LITTLE PASSPORTS!




Beautiful and Affordable Outerwear for the Whole Family at Free Country!

I always encourage families to spend plenty of time outdoors, and even snow or rain shouldn’t be a deterrent when your family is dressed appropriately. I recently discovered Free Country, a wonderful company that provides a large selection of high-quality recreational outerwear, activewear, and swimwear for men, women, and children. I absolutely love the items they have that make fun outdoor play possible for everyone. And their prices are fantastic, too! Check out some of the gorgeous items I found below:

Women
Men
Boys
Women
Men
Girls

I was sent a beautiful Women’s Slice Softshell Jacket in Black Plaid for review.


I am absolutely in love with this jacket. It’s both wind- and water-resistant, so it’s perfect for heading out in rainy or nasty weather. I especially love the longer length, which keeps my “tushie” warm, too! The removable hood gives me great flexibility, and the adjustable bands on the side give this jacket a great tailored look. And I can’t believe how soft the inside lining is. It’s like stroking a kitten or baby bunny! The Women’s Slice Softshell Jacket is available in both Black and Black Plaid, and it’s currently marked down from $120 to just $48! This jacket is absolutely gorgeous and stylish, but extremely functional, too. Did I mention that I LOVE it?!

If you’re in the market for high-quality, low-priced and fashionable outerwear for your family, please head over to freecountry.com. You’ll love their huge selection, and their beautiful coats and other items will last for years. Free Country also carries fleece, hats, gloves, pants, and ladies’ swimwear. And standard shipping in the U.S. is free!




Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lean Pockets Checks In on New Year’s Resolutions, Introduces the Hilarious Interactive Soap Opera, "As the Pocket Turns," and Offers a Great Giveaway!

So, February is almost here, and I’m sure that many of you are weighing in (literally) on how you’re doing with those New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you were hoping to shed a few pounds, eat healthier, get started on writing a book, schedule date nights with your hubby or clean out your closets. Whatever your resolution may be, I’m guessing that many of you (including myself) are a little disappointed in your progress. The LEAN POCKETS® Brand recently commissioned a survey about New Year’s resolutions. They found that nearly 60% of Americans want to eat better in the New Year, but only 7% of women and 5% of men feel they’ll be able to stick to their resolutions for good! Check out the infographic below for more findings from their eye-opening survey:


And on the subject of making better choices for the New Year, LEAN POCKETS has also created an absolutely hilarious set of videos (they’ve dubbed it an “interactive soap opera”) called As the Pocket Turns. It’s interactive because YOU get to choose the ending! Watch the following video, which begins the saga.



[Email subscribers, please click on the title of this post to view the video online.]

So, now that you’ve watched the video, did you vote for Stefan, Jenkins, or LEAN POCKETS? If you voted, you should have been taken to another video that shows you the consequences of your decision! I got a chuckle out of watching all of them.

When you’re done chuckling and voting, I encourage you to head over to Facebook.com/LeanPockets and click on “As the Pocket Turns.” There, you can watch the video again, share your New Year’s resolution, and “Like” the page for a free Lean Pockets coupon!

Then take your coupon to the store and pick up some LEAN POCKETS sandwiches for lunch! They all have 370 calories or less and 9 grams of fat or less. Twelve varieties feature a made-with-whole-grain crust and 9 varieties feature a good source of fiber. Their Pretzel Bread line is especially popular and delicious! Flavors include Grilled Chicken Jalapeno Cheddar, Grilled Chicken with Honey Mustard, and Roasted Turkey with Bacon & Reduced Fat Cheese. Yum! I was given the opportunity to sample the LEAN POCKETS Pretzel Bread sandwiches, and I loved them. They’re perfect for a quick, warm lunch. Just pop them in the microwave! My favorite was the Roasted Turkey with Bacon & Reduced Fat Cheese. Absolutely delicious! Enjoy them as part of your overall plan to eat healthier this year.

And, finally, read on to find out how you can win Lean Pockets for the whole family!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive $25 worth of Lean Pockets/Hot Pockets coupons. (They can be used for all Hot Pockets products!) To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, February 12, 2013.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tips from Pirate’s Booty on How to Kick Off Your Super Bowl Party with Healthier Crowd Pleasers ~ Plus a Pirate's Booty Limited-Edition Giveaway!

While Big Game parties are a ton of fun, they can be a challenge if you’re trying to eat healthier. While a healthier and fun Big Game party may sound like a contradiction in terms, it doesn’t have to be when you have Pirate’s Booty on your team.

Emily Whelan Anschlowar, registered dietician and in-house nutrition expert at Pirate’s Booty, has created the following healthier swaps for a party that is sure to score points with family and friends. “Big Game Day is the biggest calorie fest of the year behind Thanksgiving,” said Anschlowar. “The average person will consume an entire day’s worth of calories in just three hours. Instead of your typical Big Game spread that is high in fat and calories, try the following tips that won’t leave your guests feeling sacked,” she continued.

• Crunch Time.
o An estimated 28 million pounds of potato chips are consumed during the Big Game. Bench regular fried potato chips and choose a better-for-you alternative like Pirate’s Booty, which has all the fun with half the fat and fewer calories. Pirate’s Booty is gluten-free and made in a peanut and tree-nut facility, so it’s great for the whole team. Pirate’s Booty is deliciously baked, all-natural and trans-fat free too -- touchdown!

• Sack the Main Course.
o Pizza can be a great choice especially when it’s loaded with veggies and on top of a heart healthy whole wheat crust.
o On sub sandwiches, swap mayo for mustard, use low-fat cheese and lean meats like turkey and chicken. Also, pile on those veggies!
o When you swap out ground beef for a leaner meat like ground turkey in your pot of chili, you’re cutting down your fat intake.

• Sweet Spike.

o S’mores are always a win! Just swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate to gain the benefits of antioxidants.
o A fruit platter served with vanilla yogurt for dipping is also a great healthy choice.

• Tackle Beverage Bulge.

o Opt for light beer or water instead of regular beer or soda and watch consumption to avoid belly bloat and the extra calories.

Pirate’s Booty is Big Game Day’s MVS (Most Valuable Snack)! Pirate’s Booty is a deliciously baked, all-natural snack that the whole team loves. Pirate’s Booty just launched a limited-edition football themed 7 oz. bag of Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar -- perfect for the Big Game. The limited-edition football themed 7 oz. Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar bags are available at grocery stores nationwide. The suggested retail price is $2.99.

NOTE FROM SUSAN: Pirate’s Booty is popular with kids, too! As soon as our review samples arrived, my boys both begged me to include some Pirate’s Booty in their school lunches. They love the crisp cheesy taste, and I like that they’re a much better alternative to greasy chips. I hope you’ll pick up some Pirate’s Booty for your child’s school lunches -- and your upcoming Super Bowl party! You can check in with Pirate’s Booty on Facebook and Twitter, too!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive two limited-edition football-themed 7 oz. bags of Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Monday, February 11, 2013.

Another Great Valentine's Day Giveaway from Teddy Bears Personalized!

If you didn’t win a beautiful personalized teddy bear from Teddy Bears Personalized in our recent giveaway, you’re in luck because you’re getting a second chance! Just in case you missed the previous post, here’s a little information about Teddy Bears Personalized. Their high-quality personalized plush animals are perfect for showing your love to your child, BFF, or sweetheart for Valentine’s Day! Every animal arrives wearing a hoodie or jumper in your choice of color and personalization (such as a name or special message). Some of their items include:

Theme Animals


Sweater Bears


Funky Friends


Hoodie Bears


The items shown above are just a small selection from the beautiful plush animals at Teddy Bears Personalized. Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it! Head over to www.teddybearspersonalized.com to place your order today!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive their choice of personalized plush teddy bear or animal (except for a Top Teddy Bear) from Teddy Bears Personalized! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Friday, February 8, 2013.

Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Kindle Fire Giveaway

Welcome to the Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Hosted by Giveaway Promote.
Sponsored by Spend With Pennies.

Spend With Pennies is your one stop for all things free and frugal. In today’s economy, we need to stretch every dollar we can. Spend With Pennies helps make that simple by finding the most current deals, freebies and prizes for you every day!

We have teamed up with a great group of bloggers to bring you this fabulous giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a 7” Kindle Fire courtesy of Spend With Pennies.

Enter to win a 7" Kindle Fire 8GB.

Kindle Fire
The perfect family tablet, with the best in kids' entertainment.
  • All new — 40% faster, twice the memory, longer battery life
  • Ultra-fast web browsing over built-in Wi-Fi, easy-to-use email works with Gmail, Yahoo! and more
  • The most popular apps and games: Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, HBO GO, Pandora, Angry Birds Space, and more
  • Kindle FreeTime: set screen limits, create child profiles, and more
  • NEW Kindle FreeTime Unlimited - just for kids. Unlimited access to books, games, apps, movies and TV shows.
  • Massive book selection, vibrant color magazines. Over a million titles less than $9.99
  • Over 23 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines , books, audiobooks, apps, and games
Description from Amazon.com

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.
Refer your friends using your unique link at the top of the Rafflecopter for even more chances to win.
One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
Open in the United States.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on February 10th, 2013.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bloggers Needed: It's Raining Money $1,000 Cash Giveaway!

Raining Money

It's Raining Money Event

Hosted by: Mom Powered Media
Prize: $1,000 Cash {paypal or visa}
Event dates: 4/1 - 5/1

Free Blogger Event: Sign Up HERE


J.J. Abrams to Direct the New Star Wars Movie!

I’ll admit it: I’ve always been a HUGE Star Wars fan! I even wrote an article about my first time seeing Star Wars in the theater, which appeared on Parade Magazine’s website. (You can read it HERE.) So, I was so excited to hear that they’re now planning a seventh Star Wars movie! If you like to keep up on Star Wars news, here’s the latest press release about the upcoming movie:

J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing, and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay.

“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”

George Lucas went on to say, “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film, and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”

“To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”

J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.

Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Abrams and his production company Bad Robot have a proven track record of blockbuster movies that feature complex action, heartfelt drama, iconic heroes and fantastic production values with such credits as Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams has worked with Lucasfilm’s preeminent postproduction facilities, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, on all of the feature films he has directed, beginning with Mission: Impossible III. He also created or co-created such acclaimed television series as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe.