Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dinosaur Train: T Rex Tales

Do you have a budding paleontologist?  If you do, then they will love the newest DVD from Dinosaur Train. 
Available November 29, 2011.

Get on board the Dinosaur Train with Buddy, an adorable dinosaur, and his adoptive Pteranodon Family as they embark on nine whimsical voyages in the DINOSAUR TRAIN: T-REX TALES DVD available from PBS Home Video and Paramount Home Entertainment.  In these special adventures, Buddy travels to Reville, home of the Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs, and learns that he too is a Tyrannosaurus. 

Kids can learn fun and fascinating new facts about the dinosaurs while traveling through prehistoric jungles, swamps,  volcanoes and oceans.  "Dinosaur Train" embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains while encouraging basic scientific thinking and skills.  Perfectly timed to the holiday giving season, the DINOSAUR TRAIN: T-REX TALES DVD includes a bonus holiday episode, interactive games, coloring pages, Dr. Scott's segments and a reference guide for parents.  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Favorite Christmas Stories: A Christmas Carol Pop Up Book

Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol is a classic Christmas story that has charmed generations for years.  This edition by Chuck Fischer and paper engineer Bruce Foster, will enchant your family for years to come.

Growing up, we all have memories of either reading the classic novel or watching the movie.  This book will bring back those memories and hopefully inspire you to read it with your children.   The attention to detail is just amazing.!   The original story is printed in separate little books that are kept in a holder on each page.   You can read the original story and view the amazingly beautiful pop-ups.  I got this book last year as a review item, and it has quickly become a favorite in our house.  

 The pop-up illustrations are rich with details and bring the story to life.   This would be an amazing gift for a teacher, book collector, or readers of all ages. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Favorite Christmas Stories: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was one of my favorite books as a kid.   No matter how many times I read it, I always laughed at the Herdman kids.    You somehow know these kids.  You have been to church or school with them, and they are the kids that your mom always tells you to try to be nice to.     That is what makes this story so great.   Your kids will love the silliness and learn what Christmas is really about.  

The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.
None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale -- the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating -- has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year's pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!   My family and I are really excited about our Thanksgiving celebration this year.    Have a wonderful time with your family and friends, and rest up just in case you are hitting the Black Friday sales.  

My favorite Christmas Stories: Elf on a Shelf

My family and I absolutely love this book and the tradition in our house that has grown around it.   Each year, children always ask," How does Santa Claus really know if we have been naughty or nice?"   Well, Santa's secret is Elf on a Shelf.    Santa sends the elf to watch the children and then the elf reports to Santa every night and comes back to a different spot in the house.  But the rule, is that the children can not touch the elf. 

We got this book 2 years ago and have so much fun with the Elf.   We pack the elf in a priority mail box and address it to our children.   My husband will sneak around to the front, ring the bell and leave the box on Thanksgiving Day.   When the children open the box, there is the elf, dusted with a little glitter to give it a "magical" appearance.   We try to find a special place, where the elf will have a great view of the house.

Then each day, the elf is somewhere new.   We try to remember to move it around the house before my husband and I go to bed.   The kids love looking for it when they get up in the morning, it is almost like a game of hide and seek.  Be ready with some quick answers if you forget to move the elf.  The kids will ask a lot of questions.    The elf leaves on Christmas Eve with Santa Claus and leaves a note for the kids. 

Last year, we lost our elf and had to quickly replace it.  We don't pack our in elf with our Christmas decorations and couldn't remember where he was.   Our children were not wild about the Elf replacement.  They said that he was creepy looking.  And our little girl admitted that she touched the elf so it would go away and we would get the cute elf back. 

Thankfully, this year the cute elf will return!  I can't wait to see their reaction this year.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Carmex Healing Lotion and Healing Cream Review

For over 70 years people have come to love the healing power of  Carmex lip balms.  Finally, Carmex Skin Care is here with a new solution to heal, soothe and moisturize your dry skin.  I recently had the opportunity to try out two of their new products.  

 I let my husband test both of these products.   His skin tends to be very dry especially during the fall and winter.  He gets a lot of cracks in his hands and it is really uncomfortable for him.   He was really impressed with both of the products.  Neither of the products had a greasy feel and the scent pleasant but was not over powering.   After several days of use, he really saw a noticeable difference.  

If you have dry skin during the winter, you might want to try out these products for yourself.  

Carmex Healing Lotion
Carmex® Healing Lotion is made using a patent pending process that delivers healing and moisturization without a greasy feel.
  • Use anywhere skin feels dry;
    available in tube or NEW pump
  • Daily use will help protect skin and keep dryness away
  • Rich healing ingredients, including Aloe and Vitamin E, nourish and moisturize skin
  • Absorbs fast for a non-greasy feel; has a light, pleasant scent 

Carmex Healing Cream
Carmex® Healing Cream is made using a patent pending process that delivers concentrated healing and moisturization of your driest, roughest skin.
  • Use on your driest skin— especially hands, feet, elbows and knees; available in tube or NEW handy little tin
  • 9 healing ingredients penetrate and help repair your very dry, rough or cracked skin
  • Concentrated—use a small amount
Carmex Healing Lotion and Carmex Healing Cream can be purchased and Walgreens, Walmart or your other favorite retailer.  The full size bottle retails for $5.99.  The travel size retails for $1.

:disclosure:  I did receive a sample for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.   All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

World Vision Charitble Gifts

 Sometimes during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we get so caught up in what we are purchasing, that we never really stop to think about "The True Spirit of Christmas."   There are so many families in need in our country and around the world. 

"The holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to honor a loved one and give a gift that has real-life implications on a family in need," said Traci Coker, World Vision Gift Catalog national director.  "As little as $16 can feed a family in the US for a day or put a smile on the face of a young child by replacing their makeshift banana leaf ball for a real soccer ball. "

World Vision's gift catalog offers more than 250 gifts online and in the print version ranging in price from $16 to $39,000.   These gifts can be purchased in the name of a family member, teacher, co-worker, or child, including many affordable items under $50.   Last year, some friends of our family donated goats in our name.  My children were so excited about the thought of donating to other children in the world. 

The best part about these gifts is that they are self-sustainable.   For example, goats given to communities in Africa are purchased in Africa.  This allows transformational community development within the most poverty stricken villages.  

Here are a few gift ideas: 
Goats ($75):   One of the most popular gift items because its milk provides protein for children and the surplus can be sold.  
More than 20, 000 goats were purchased last year. 

* Feed a family in the US for a day ($16):  Here in the US, 1 in 5 children lives in poverty.  Gift givers can help restore hope to families that have been struck by disaster, homelessness, or job loss.

* A child's education ($32) : Supplying school fees, textbooks, paper and pencils will help a child reach their full potential.

*Beehive ($150):  Beekeeping is a sustainable, year-round way to generate income and is a great source of nutritious, medicinal honey and beeswax.

You can also help by donating to the Maximum Impact Fund. The Maximum Impact Fund gifts help answer specific, urgent needs of children and families that might otherwise go unmet.  For a donation of $50 to the Maximum Impact Fund, you will receive a Fair-Trade Coffee set.   Delicious coffee flavors from Ethiopia, Sumatra, and Costa Rica blended by OneCup.org.  The coffee is delivered in a gift bag of African fabric hand sewn by local women.  Also with a hand carved scoop made to benefit orphans of the Kamba tribe.   

World Vision has also designed a way for donors to see these self-sustainable gifts in action in real time through "The True Spirit of Christmas Tour".  For the third consecutive year, World Vision staff will be traveling across the world this December to see the impact that goats, sheep, and other gifts have on families and children.   Donors can follow "The True Spirit of Christmas" on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thetruespiritofchristmas.

*disclosure:  I did receive a Fair Trade set of Coffee. I did not receive any other monetary compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed by me, are my own.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gourmet Gift Basket Review

Gift Baskets always make great holiday gifts.  It is a great way to share the warmth of the holidays with friends and family all across the country.    Gourmet Gift Baskets creates beautiful gift baskets to coordinate with the holidays and special occasions. 

I recently had the opportunity to review the Classic Christmas Gift Basket.  This gift basket selection is one of Gourmet Gift Basket's most popular selections.   It contains a variety of award-winning gourmet snacks that will delight everyone.  With gourmet snacks including chocolate covered cherries, almond clustered popcorn, and raspberry honey mustard dip along with pretzels. 

The Classic Christmas Gift Basket is a great gift for anyone. Check out what’s inside:

· Almond Pecan-dy Crunch by Morley Candy Makers
· Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies by J&M Foods
· Dipping Pretzels by East Shore Specialty Foods
· Robert Rothschild Farm Raspberry Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip
· Salted Peanuts in Box by Feridie’s
· Signature Dark Chocolate Bar by Lake Champlain
· Buttered Peanut Crunch by Old Dominion Peanut Company
· Metropolitan Trail Mix by GourmetGiftBaskets.com
· Parmesan Artichoke & Garlic Cheese Biscuits by Salem Baking Company
· Chocolate Covered Cherries by Marich

My family has each had a different item that they enjoyed.  My favorite items from this selection has been the raspberry honey mustard dip and pretzels! The mustard dip is sweet and tangy, delicious with the pretzels.    It is a great snack when you are craving something salty and sweet.

If you aren't sure what to get someone this holiday season, check out the selection on Gourmet Gift Basket's website.   I am sure that you will find something for even the hardest person to shop for on your gift giving list.  

* disclosure:  I was provided with a sample product for the purpose of this review.  I did not reicve any monetary compenstation for this post.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

How to Train Your Dragon: Gift of the Night Fury and Book of Dragons on DVD

My children loved the movie How to Train Your Dragon, so I was really excited to see a follow up that will be available on DVD starting November 15, 2011.

DreamWorks is releasing DreamWorks Dragons double DVD and Online Video Game Pack featuring two brand new adventures plus a Dragons online video game available for the first time ever.   These three exciting experiences come in one highly-affordable package just in time for holiday gift-giving, available in both Blu-ray and DVD.   


Gift of the Night Fury
The Dragons are back in the exciting next chapter in the Academy Award nominated film, How to Train Your Dragon.   The epic story of Hiccup and Toothless continues as they take flight in a thrilling, all-new adventure to discover an island of never-before-seen dragons.   Explosive action and fire-breathing excitement collide in this exhilarating story. 

Book of Dragons:
So you want to be a dragon trainer, do you?  Prepare yourself for adventure, excitement, and training as Hiccup, Astrid, Toothless, and Gobber tell the legend behind the Book of Dragons and reveal insider training secrets about new, never-before-seen dragons.  

Dragons Online Video Game: 
Test your skills in DRAGONS ONLINE VIDEO GAME where you create your own avatar then go on to battle and train new dragons, win badges, and become the ultimate dragon trainer. 

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

S.C. Bilo Shoppers- purchase 6 participating items get free voucher for USC or Clemson basketball tickets

 For local fans, Shop at BI-LO receive free Clemson or USC basketball tickets! Simply buy any six participating items at participating stores and receive a voucher for two FREE South Carolina or Clemson basketball tickets. For a list of participating items, stores, and games, visit: http://www.bi-lo.com/promotions/detail/shop-at-bi-lo-earn-free-clemson-or-south-carolina-basketball-tickets/

The Duggar's make me want to puke!!!!

 Ok, I know that this post will probably get me some hate comments and I might even lose some followers, but I can't stand it anymore!!!  Recently, the entire Duggar clan was paraded on national TV yet again, to announce that Michelle Duggar is pregnant.  WHOOPIE!! (eyes rolling out of my head)  You had sex, AGAIN! Congratulations!!

For a family that is all UP WITH MODESTY, Michelle certainly doesn't mind letting us all  know what is going on with her "lady business".  Her vagina has more cave paintings then the Altimira Caves in Spain. 
Do you really want the rest of the world to view you as a walking, talking uterus?

Thousands of women get pregnant everyday in this country.  Do we feel the need to get on the Today Show and share with the rest of the world?  Not really.   Having a child is a wonderful thing! but its not national news worthy.    Lets review:  War, Poverty, Hunger  = NEWS WORTHY,   Michelle Duggar knocked up again= NOT NEWS WORTHY.     If you are pregnant, share it with those that matter in your life: your husband, family, friends, not the entire free world!  Starving children in Africa, don't care!! War torn nations, DON'T CARE!!

If you are trying to prove that you are some sort of Super Woman, we get it!  Clearly, you have a uterus made of steel and we all understand that you superhero ability is making milk.  But, cows do that too. Along with the rest of us mammals.  Again, not really news worthy.

What is news worthy, is your never ending need to over populate.  What about your health?  As a mother of 19, wouldn't that be your first priority?  After the last pregnancy that had some major complications and health issues for the child, wouldn't you say to yourself: "Hey, I think I am done now!"

I would also like to thank you for beating your fertility over the heads of women who struggle to conceive a child of their own.  There are women desperate to have a child and would give anything to have just ONE child.    When asked, " Do you want to have more?"  your nauseating laugh and your smirky reply, " well, we will see, whatever the Lord gives us"  makes me want to puke!!

I have seen first hand, a couple devastated when they were unable to conceive a child of their own after numerous attempts, doctor visits, and rounds of medications. They ended up with nothing!    The emotional toll on them broke my heart. And even now as they go through the adoption process, there are so many uncertainties and they or may not end up with a child.     Yet there you sit, celebrating your over active fertility like some hopped up gremlin.   

 Stop being media whores!! You have a loyal group of viewers who hang on your every word and recipe tip.  They would be happy to tune in and listen to you read from the phone book. 

  Does TLC give a bonus if the Duggar's end their season with a pregnancy?   It was mentioned in the Today Show interview that their show season finale would be airing this week.   Could we be fishing for ratings, hmmmmm TLC??  Well, we already know what is coming for next season. :SPOILER ALERT:

   Now, I have a few suggestions for the Duggars and TLC.   Think about this! You could create an entirely new show!  The Duggars clan meets therapy, think along the lines of Celebrity Rehab, Intervention, or even Hoarders.

From my point of view, I see Jim Boob as a sex addict.   He clearly has some sort of fetish for the Amish, Pilgrim, Puritan look (no offense to Amish, Pilgrim, or Puritans)  and I would assume that the missionary position drives him wild.   With Thanksgiving around the corner, he will be out of control people!  Seriously, get this on film!!  Does he have a secret stash of Hester Prynne drawings?  She has to be his ideal centerfold. Heaving bosoms and butter churns and all that....  

Michelle needs to work with Dr. Zasio from Hoarders.  I am sure that TLC can get in contact with her.  Stop baby hoarding!  Maybe you have some sort of unresolved emotional issues stemming from your childhood. Hoarding is not healthy.  You have to be able to let go.

I think that you could get a dozen or so TV doctors and therapist to come on as guests, giving some help to these two.   Ratings bonanza, TLC!  RATINGS BONANZA!!!  think it over and call me...  I have more ideas, just say'in.... 

So my rant is over, love it, hate it... I don't care.  This is my opinion and I have put it out for the world.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thrift find of the Year!

It has been a while since I did any serious thrift shopping.  During the summer, I was out all the time looking for second hand goodies.   I have to say that I did find a few goodies (well at least to me, they were treats)..  I am not sure if anyone else would appreciate my quirky.  He hates when I go thrift shopping.  Sometimes, my own husband doesn't even appreciate the quirky goodness.  These are my top 3 finds for the year.  

The #1 find was the 1980's Barbie Dream Pool.   I had purchased my daughter a Barbie Dream House (79-80's model) off of Ebay last year.  I told her that mom would look for the pool.  Not that she really cared, it is mainly me buying back my childhood.   I found this beauty at the Goodwill Clearance Center where you buy treasure for .99 a pound.   It is practically complete. There are a few pieces missing but we can live with that for $5 compared to Ebay $40-60 price range. 

 The #2 find was the vintage Snow White Swatch Watch for .50     I spent a couple of dollars on a new watch battery and it works great!  The picture looks funny because it has a mirrored face. 

#3 goes to the shirt that is so awesome and hideous that it shall not be named.   Of course, this is the infamous Harry Potter hawaiian styled shirt that myself and another rabid pop culture seeker almost got in a fist fight over. (fist fight, slightly exaggerated, but she did stock me hoping I would put it back)  I have actually worn it a couple of times, mainly as a joke.  It has such great graphics, how could I pass it up. 

 The carpet portrait of Ronald McDonald gets an honorable mention for the craziest, ugliest, and just plain weird find of the year.  I didn't purchase it, because frankly I am not sure what I would do with it, if I had it.  But, I had to take a picture of it and share it with the rest of the world. 

this post is linked to Her Library Adventure: Flea Market finds.