Kid Lit: Animal Adventures

It doesn’t matter what type – dog, cat, fish, hermit crab (a recent addition to our home) , giraffe, elephant or dinosaur – my kidlets love to read stories about animals.  This month’s Kit Lit review features two stories about animals that take place in very different settings — one living in the urban jungle of the city and the other out in the country on a farm.

THM-KidLit-LittleElliot-BigCity-BookJacketLittle Elliot, Big City By Mike Curato (Macmillan)

Little Elliot is an adorable little polka-dotted elephant living in the wilds of New York City circa 1940.  Amid the hustle and bustle of life in the big city with big crowds and even bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a happy and quiet, but solitary life.

In spite of the daily challenges he faces for being little, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter, a new friend.

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It’s A Chore!

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone.

It’s one of the most dreaded words in our home.  It’s worse than “homework,” “bedtime,” “dentist,” or even “broccoli!” What word is it? It’s C-H-O-R-E-S.

THM-SparklySavings-Responsibility-Chart-Dishwasher Cleaner-Finish

It wasn’t always this way. When my kidlets were toddlers they were always very eager and happy to help mom or dad out.  Upon completion they would beam proudly and openly brag that they were “helpful.”  As they’ve gotten older though, that enthusiasm has morphed into sulky and whiny replies whenever they are asked to do something.

But teaching kids to do chores is important. Just like their father and I, each of my kidlets need to contribute in order to help run and keep up this household.  Yeah, sure, it’s great for mom and dad to have some extra hands helping out around the house, but it’s also a valuable learning lesson for kids.  Kids doing chores teaches them about responsibility, teamwork and helps to build their self-esteem.

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Making A New Disney Animated Classic – “Frozen” TV Special

My daughter is a “Frozen” fanatic!  She’s seen the movie too many times to keep count and sings along with the soundtrack at the top of her lungs.  Her room is covered in “Frozen” posters, she has all the dolls and is has an entire back to school wardrobe of t-shirts, underwear, socks and sweatshirts featuring the smiling faces of Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf.  She also has a new light up backpack to take to pre-k that makes me a little dizzy when I look at it!   Her latest acquisition?  “Frozen” bed sheets and blanket so she can dream all night of her favorite Disney film — so sorry, “Cinderella” you’ve officially been bumped to #2!

THM-TheStoryofFrozen-MakingADisneyAnimatedClassic-AnnaKristoffSven

As for me, I am amazed at the stunning beauty of “Frozen.”  It is like no other animation I’ve seen before.  I was blown away by the scene where Elsa built her Ice Palace, it felt and looked so real.  You could see the incredible details of the snowflakes in that scene, from the ones on Elsa’s cape to the floor of the palace she builds – to the columns, the staircase and even the chandelier.  Apparently it took more than 50 animators to create that scene alone!Continue reading ⇒

What I Learned This Summer….

End-Of-SummerIn just a few short days Labor Day will upon us and bring with it the (sad) unofficial end to summer.  In exactly one week from today the pressures of back-to-school, including new teachers, new friends and homework along with hectic schedules of kids’ activities will once again begin in our household.

 

The kidlets are enjoying their last few days of summer by jamming in as much carefree fun time as possible – hanging with friends, playing sports, swimming and sleeping in!

I’m also getting ready by taking a few deep breaths to help find my “happy place” before the insanity of the school year begins. Part of that is taking a look back at all the fun and adventures we had as a family this summer.

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Shopping In My PJs – A Walmart/P&G Giftcard Giveaway

The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G. All opinions though are my very own.

Ah summer. It’s definitely my favorite season of the year. I love to be outdoors, enjoying the warm weather and spending as much time with my family as possible. So why would I want to interrupt my fun in the sun to run errands at the grocery store to pick up household staples when I can have them conveniently delivered right to my doorstep?

Walmart.comWith a just a few quick clicks of my mouse on Walmart.com or taps on my phone with the Walmart Smartphone app, I can get great deals on all my household essentials and have them shipped to me for free, when I spend $50 or more.

You may not know it, but I’m a total neat and clean freak when it comes to my home.  “A place for everything and everything in its place” is my motto.  I hate dishes left in the sink at night, laundry in the hamper and the worst is dirty floors.

So when I logged onto Walmart.com I was looking to stock up on cleaning supplies.  I found loads of Proctor & Gamble (P&G) products at great, low prices.  Suddenly, I was transported to my happy neat & clean place.

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Finding Pixie Dust & Getting To Go “On The Road” With Disney Social Media Moms

I’ve got a confession to make. I never stepped foot inside a Disney Park until I was an adult. My father wasn’t much into amusement parks, so growing up it was never a destination my family ever considered for vacation. It wasn’t until I was 22 years old and on a business trip to Southern California. With some down time, a colleague suggested we head on over to Anaheim and check out Disneyland.

THM_DisneyOTRPhilly_2aI was mesmerized and fell in love the moment I entered!

Walking thru Sleeping Beauty’s castle, wearing my very first pair of Mouse Ears, riding on the Railroad, getting drenched on Splash Mountain and having my picture taken with Winnie the Pooh was like taking all those Disney movies and TV shows I watched growing up come to life right in front of my eyes!

It took me another two more years before I made it to all the parks in Orlando, but since then I’ve been back many times.  My most recent trip was last spring when The Hubs and I took the kids on their first visit to Walt Disney World Resorts.

Seeing Disney through their first time eyes was amazing. It’s something I’ll always treasure as a parent and as a Disney fanatic. It truly is the “happiest place on Earth!”Continue reading ⇒

Liberty Science Center – #ScienceSummerFun Giveaway

What do you do with your kids on summer days when you’re tired of going to the park, beach, library or movies? What about on rainy days? While the Hubs and I might want to go to a museum, the kidlets prefer places where they can have lots of fun and get “hands on.”

PrintThe Liberty Science Center is just the place to meld our parental & kidlet preferences. It’s a 300,000 square foot fun learning center located on the banks of the Hudson River in Jersey City’s Liberty State Park.  You should make the trip over there just to see the spectacular and unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan, including the Freedom Tower.

Dedicated to bringing the excitement of science to people of all ages, Liberty Science Center (LSC for short!) features 12 museum halls featuring ongoing exhibitions such as Skyscraper!, Infection Connection, Energy Quest and Communication. They also host a live animal collection with 110 species and giant aquariums where you can actually touch sea creatures. The Center also houses a 3D theater, the nation’s largest IMAX Dome theater and tornado/hurricane-force wind simulators.

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Family Friendly Video Game Preview: LEGO® Ninjago™: Nindroids™ & Game Giveaway

After our plans for a day at the beach were thwarted by combination of horrific traffic and drizzly weather this past weekend, the family wound up stopping at a local mall to eat lunch and do some window shopping.  We eventually wandered into a GameStop store, since my seven-year old son has turned into quite the gamer.

LNN Poster Charging RGB 1as Preview When he’s in a competitive mode, he plays Xbox with either his dad or friends. More often though, he likes playing solo, and turns to his  Nintendo 3DSXL, which he got for his birthday last year instead of having a party.

He’s got quite the growing roster of 3DS games in his collection, but his favorite ones by far are LEGO®-related games. So when he saw an in-store ad for LEGO® Ninjago™: Nindroids™ he went crazy and can’t wait to get the game to try it out for himself.

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Dinosaurs Roam The Earth Again! Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular Comes to NJ’s Prudential Center July 23-27

Now we all know that dinosaurs are extinct, but it seems to me like Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular might make you do a double take!

WWD-featured-1The family is excited to go and see this live show next week courtesy of Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

My kidlets are fascinated by dinosaurs.  This show sounds like a perfect way to not only entertain them, but educate them about the role dinosaurs played in our world’s history.

Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular is based on the award-winning BBC Television series that aired on Discovery Channel here in the US. From the commercials I’ve seen on TV to the video below, the show depicts the dinosaurs’ evolution with almost cinematic realism.Continue reading ⇒

A Day At The Beach – Jenkinson’s Boardwalk Family Fun Place Pass Giveaway

JenksAmbassadorButton-250x250To me, there’s no better way to spend a summer day than at the beach. I love nothing more than having my toes in the sand, splashing around in the waves and sitting on the beach for some, what I call, “golden goddess” time – but covered in 40+ sun block and wearing a big floppy hat & sunglasses, of course!

I’ve been a faithful patron of the Jersey shore since I spent my first summer there when I was six. So if you do the math (and I beg you please not to!), I’ve been frolicking in the sand and surf there for some 36 years. In fact, the family did an overnight trip to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk at Pt. Pleasant Beach last week to celebrate my birthday.

Whether you’re a day-tripper or planning an extended stay, Jenkinson’s is a great family friendly beach and boardwalk destination. You will definitely find something here to excite each member of your family.

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