Monday, August 18, 2014

Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy Review

Disclosure: I received a copy of the movie to review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and are my honest opinion of the movie.

Scooby-Doo and those "meddling kids," Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma are back! In this spooky adventure, Velma discovers she's inherited her great-great-uncle Dr. Von Dinkenstein's cursed castle in the terrifying town of Transylvania...Pennsylvania, that is. Just when the Gang persuades Velma to claim her inheritance, the ghost of Dinkenstein Castle blows up the Mystery Machine as a warning to the group that each of them will lose what is most dear to them if they continue to pursue the mystery of the castle. Now the gang must spring into action to solve the mystery while also dealing with the threats from Dinkenstein's ghost. Can Fred work without his precious Mystery Machine? What happens to Daphne when she loses her good looks? And how will Scooby and Shaggy ever work without their appetites? More importantly, what family secret has Velma been hiding all along?

Our thoughts:  A few days ago, I made popcorn and then cuddled up on the couch with my boys to watch Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy. My boys had already watched it once, but were pretty good at not giving away any clues so that I could guess who the villain might be. The first time they watched it, they thought it was good but a little creepy. As I watched the movie with them, I definitely became interested in the storyline. One of my favorite parts of the movie was watching Scooby and Shaggy take on different personalities. Instead of being scared of monsters and hungry all of the time, they became courageous and actually turned down food. I kept wondering what happened to cause them to act that way and of course I was enlightened at the end of the movie of the reason.

Throughout the movie it does appear to the gang that the curse is real and they are each losing what is important to them. Fred loses the Mystery Machine, Daphne loses her good looks, and Shaggy and Scooby lose their appetite. Despite losing what seems important to them, they are able to still work together and solve the mystery. I liked it at the end when Velma states they could not lose what is most dear to them, because it is their friendship that is most important.

The Blu-ray® combo pack and the DVD will be available on August 19 and would make a great family-friendly movie for Halloween.

Monday, June 30, 2014

This Is America, Charlie Brown DVD Review

Disclosure: I received a copy of the DVD to review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and are my honest opinion of the DVD.

Growing up I loved learning about American history. Often my parents would take us to visit historical places for our family vacation such as Washington DC, Boston, Salem, Williamsburg, Gettysburg, and Plymouth. I look forward to the day when my boys are older and I can visit some of these same places with them. Since I love American history, I was excited to be able to review This is America, Charlie Brown, which was released on DVD on June 17th. I thought this would be a great way to introduce my boys to some of the important events in the course of American history. Here is the synopsis of the DVD as well as the featured specials:

From the voyage of the Mayflower to the bold exploration of outer space, join the Peanuts gang as they take viewers on a journey through American history! Groove along with Charlie Brown and Snoopy as they discover the beginnings of jazz and ragtime music, cleverly accompanied by Lucy's speech about American heroes. Soar with the Wright brothers, blast into orbit on the NASA space station, and create some of the world's most influential inventions alongside such greats as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford! So all aboard the transcontinental railroad with Peanuts because This is America, Charlie Brown!

Featured Specials:
  • The Mayflower Voyagers - The Peanuts become pilgrims sailing to the New World aboard the Mayflower and endure the first hard winter on Plymouth Plantation.
  • The Birth of the Constitution - Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang is present when the country's founding fathers discuss putting together the constitution.
  • The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk - Linus and Charlie Brown witness the Wright brothers' first flight.
  • The NASA Space Station - Linus dreams that he and the rest of the Peanuts gang travel into space.
  • The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad - Charlie Brown discusses how the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads link to create the transcontinental railroad.
  • The Great Inventors - Each member of the Peanuts gang reports on various American inventions. Linus discusses Alexander Graham Bell while Peppermint Patty and Marcie talk about Thomas Edison, and Charlie Brown writes a report on the invention of the automobile.
  • The Smithsonian and the Presidency-Viewers experience meeting U.S. presidents as seen through the eyes of the Peanuts gang. Charlie Brown visits with Abraham Lincoln. The gang also meets Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • The Music and Heroes of America - Snoopy wants to participate in Schroeder's report on music in America. Everyone in the gang plays a different musical instrument while we hear such classics as "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and "Yankee Doodle." This special plays homage to such celebrated composers as John Philip Sousa, Irving Berlin, George Cohan, Scott Joplin and others. Also featured is Lucy's report on the heroes of America, which include Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King Jr, Jonas Salk and others.
My thoughts: As a young girl, I remember watching Charlie Brown's holiday specials at both Halloween and Christmas. I have come to realize over the past few years that there were many more Charlie Brown specials that I have not seen, including the ones listed above. I enjoyed sitting down with my boys and watching these specials with them. My favorite was The Mayflower Voyagers, which sparked a discussion with my boys about how hard life must have been for those voyagers both on the boat as well as their first winter in Plymouth. We discussed the drastic differences between the life of a child then and now. For my oldest son, The NASA Space Station was one of his favorites. This was not a surprise since he loves learning about the Solar System. 

This is America, Charlie Brown kept my boys' interest and provided them with a little background on our country's history. While this DVD could be watched anytime of the year, I can see my family sitting down and watching it at Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. So if you are a fan of the Peanuts gang, I would definitely recommend this DVD. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day: 20% off Mrs. Fields

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and Mrs. Fields is celebrating with Angry Birds Cookie Cakes and Milk-&-Cookie Boxes. My boys love both cookies and Angry Birds so these would be a big hit with them. As a sweet treat, they are also offering 20% off from now until May 20 with the promo code: NCCCD. So if you need an excuse to indulge in a chocolate chip cookie, this is the perfect opportunity!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Seventh Generation Review

Disclosure: I received Seventh Generation products to review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and are my honest opinion of their products.

After celebrating Earth Day this week, I thought it would be a great opportunity to write a review on one of my favorite green companies, Seventh Generation. I have been a fan of this company for the last few years, so when they asked me to write a post about their new line of concentrated refills, of course I said yes. 

This month, Seventh Generation will launch their new line of concentrated refills for the Glass & Surface, All-Purpose, and Tub & Tile Cleaner exclusively at Target. Not only will these refills save consumers money, but they use 86% less plastic than purchasing a 32 oz spray bottle. All you need is a bottle, the concentrate, and about 3 1/2 cups of water.

Besides these three cleaners and their concentrates, Seventh Generation offers so many great products. While I have had the opportunity to try many Seventh Generation products over the past few years, I thought that I would just highlight a few. The first product is their Daily Shower Natural Cleaner. As I tried it out in my shower, the first thing I noticed was that there are no harsh fumes. The reason I started buying green products a few years ago was because I couldn't handle the strong scent of many cleaners. I am very sensitive to smells, where even perfume and lotions will bother me, so it was almost impossible to clean for very long. That is why it is important to me to use products that do not have a strong scent. I love that the Shower Cleaner is made with plant-deriving cleaning agents and scented with real essential oils and botanical extracts. It is easy to use-just spray your shower once a day to help remove and prevent soap scum.

Another product that we reviewed was the Toilet Bowl Natural Cleaner. My husband actually tried it out for me and really liked it. He liked the shape of the bottle, the fact that there are no harsh fumes, and he felt that it did a great job in cleaning our toilets. It is non-toxic, biodegradable, and works well on stains.
The last set of products I wanted to highlight are their baby products. Let me just say that I love their diapers! Their unbleached and chlorine free baby diapers are better for baby's skin because they contain absolutely no fragrances, latex or petroleum-based lotions. They are hypoallergenic and made with an ultra-absorbent, natural brown core fiber. We have found their diapers to be absorbent and leak-free and now that my little one is starting to need training pants, I can't wait to try some out from Seventh Generation. Besides their diapers, their wipes are also great to use. Not only are their wipes free of fragrances, dyes, parabens and phthalates, but they are thick and strong too! 

So if you are looking for some green products this Spring, I would encourage you to check out Seventh Generation!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Oriental Trading Company Review

Disclosure: I received the following products in exchange for a review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and are my honest opinion of the products.

This past month my oldest son turned 10 years old. He decided this year he wanted his party supplies and favors to be based on a Wizard theme, but he did not want a Harry Potter party. Although he is a big fan of Harry Potter, he had already used this theme in the past. I was a little nervous about how I would pull off a Wizard party. When I was searching online, I was only finding party supplies for a Harry Potter or a Wizard of Oz party. Fortunately, I came across the answer to my solution at the Oriental Trading Company.

At the Oriental Trading Company you can find craft and hobby supplies, toys and novelties, teaching supplies, party supplies, home decor, and holiday products. When I searched their website for Wizard party supplies, I knew that my son would be excited with their selection. For his party supplies, I ordered the Wizard Realm Dinner and Dessert Plates, as well as the Wizard Realm Luncheon Napkins. He especially liked the Dinner Plates because the picture on them had a spell book, wizard hat, potions, and a wand. To top it off, both the plates and napkins were purple and gold, and purple is his favorite color!

My son was even more excited about the party favors. We ordered purple favor bags, Black Candy Kettles, Wizard Glasses, Wizard Wands, Stretchy Skeletons, and jelly beans. The jelly beans were Jelly Belly Assorted Flavors and came as a set of 12 individually wrapped packages. My son thought these were a great addition to the favor bags because they could pretend that they were Bertie Bott's Jelly Beans. Since it was his birthday, we also ordered him Harry Potter Wire Glasses, which were a little fancier than the ones we put in the favor bags, and a White Wizard Beard with Mustache. He was excited to try on the beard when it arrived and loved it even though is was a little too big for him.

The Oriental Trading Company helped my son have a magical Wizard party. His friends loved the party favors, especially the Wizard Glasses and Wands. When we handed out the favors the kids had a blast running around after each other and casting spells!

If you are looking for party supplies, I would definitely encourage you to check out the Oriental Trading Company since they have a great selection of party supplies and favors.  I found their prices reasonable and I love that occasionally they even offer free shipping. By signing up for their emails, you can stay informed about sales and special shipping offers. If you are interested, you can sign up here.  

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