Saturday, August 31, 2013

KIDZ BOP 24 -- SIXTH CONSECUTIVE KIDZ BOP BILLBOARD TOP 3 DEBUT -- Review

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this CD from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.



KIDZ BOP 24 DEBUTS AT #3 ON THE
BILLBOARD TOP 200 CHART
 


"KIDZ BOP 24, the latest volume in the best-selling KIDZ BOP audio series, entered the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart at #3. KIDZ BOP 24 is the sixth consecutive KIDZ BOP title to debut in the Top 3 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and the 17th title to hit the Billboard Top 10 since the series launched in 2001. 

KIDZ BOP 24 is also positioned at #1 on the Billboard Children’s Chart, where there are currently 3 other KIDZ BOP albums in the Top 10. The KIDZ BOP Kids, the face and voice behind KIDZ BOP, is currently touring North America promoting the new album. For a full list of live events and performances, visit www.kidzbop.com/live.  

Timed with the release of KIDZ BOP 24, KIDZ BOP launched its annual talent competition, KIDZ Star USA, America’s biggest online talent search for kids ages 15 and under. This summer, KIDZ BOP teamed up with Six Flags Entertainment to bring The Official KIDZ Star Live Audition Tour to 10 Six Flags Theme Parks where kids can audition live for the first time ever. Aspiring young singers can now enter for their chance to win an RCA Records recording contract in two ways. Kids can upload a :90 performance video to KIDZBOP.com or audition in person at select Six Flags Theme Parks. Auditions and activities are free with paid park admission. TV and film star, Jennette McCurdy, is this year’s celebrity mentor and will help select the 2013 KIDZ Star USA Grand Prize Winner.
 
Cliff Chenfeld & Craig Balsam, Co-Founders of KIDZ BOP said, “The KIDZ BOP brand and music continues to resonate with today’s youth and we are excited that, this summer, kids and families have the opportunity to see the KIDZ BOP Kids perform live. We are also thrilled that kids can now audition in person to make their pop star dreams come true. So far, tens of thousands of kids have already auditioned for KIDZ Star.”
 

---

My Thoughts:

I have been sharing reviews of KIDZ BOP CDs for the past few years, and have to say that KIDZ BOP 24 is my family's favorite by far.  This new CD release is jam packed with some of today's hit songs, sung by kids for other kid's to enjoy.  As a parent, I have become of the KIDZ BOP CDs as they let me share some of the music I, as an adult am listening to on the radio, with my little ones, without having to worry about turning off or down the volume when inappropriate words are sung.  While I do enjoy kid-friendly CDs in the car with the girls, there are just tines -- like on long car rides - that I wish I could listen to top 20 hits, instead of listening to the same kid song or DVD play over and over again in the car.

This past week, I surprised the girls with an impromptu getaway to my parents summer place in NH.  After having Savannah up at the ER on Sunday night and having a laceration on her forehead glued shut, I thought a long weekend getaway would be good for all of us, to help to unwind and enjoy the fresh mountain air. :-)  Savannah loves vacations, and was over the moon when I told her we were going to NH.  Now, to break the news that today is our last day on vacation before going back home to CT.  I am not looking forward to this, as she gets upset and cries as we pull away from my parents' home and throughout the car ride home.   

But, on the 3-hour car ride up with my parents, I surprised my girls with this recent release from KIDZ BOP.  My parents had never seen or heard of these CDs for kids.  When my mom heard the first track "Thrift Shop," she quickly asked if the girls should be listening to this type of music.  Then, she heard a kid singing it, and wondered if it was the same song she had heard previously on the radio.  I told her not to worry, that this CD, with some of today's hit music, is sung by aspiring young singers, for kids to enjoy.  We ended up listening to all 16 tracks, with a few we repeated because the girls (and my mom) were getting into them a lot, as they be-bopped in their seats.

Here are all 16 tracks found on the new KIDZ BOP 24:

1. Thrift Shop
2. I Knew You Were Trouble
3. Suit & Tie
4. Beauty And A Beat
5. Ho Hey
6. Come & Get It
7. Feel This Moment
8. Scream & Shout
9. Girl On Fire
10. I Love It
11. Can't Hold Us
12. Heart Attack
13. Mirrors
14. 22
15. Just Give Me A Reason
16. Don't Stop The Party 


Great songs, huh? You and your family will have a blast listening to each and every song on this Billboard Top 3 album, either in the car or at home.  I can't wait to see what is in store for the next KIDZ BOP CD release.  All I know is that it will provide hours of listening enjoyment in the car, and fun dance parties at home with the girls. :-)
    

About KIDZ BOP LLC
KIDZ BOP is the #1 music brand for kids ages 5-12 in the U.S., featuring today’s most popular songs, sung by kids for kids. KIDZ BOP celebrates the authentic voice of kids across the entire brand—through music, videos, live appearances, licensed merchandise and its popular social networking and content sharing website, KIDZBOP.com. KIDZ BOP CD titles have earned one Platinum® and nine Gold® certifications since their debut in 2001. Check out KIDZ BOP’s new weekly radio show, KIDZ BOP Block Party!, a two-hour weekly radio show on Kids Place Live, every Friday at 6PM EST. KIDZ BOP is also home to KIDZ Star USA, America’s biggest online talent search for kids 15 and under.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this CD from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Now Available on DVD from NCircle Entertainment -- Pocoyo's Circus -- Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from NCircle Entertainment in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.



"Pocoyo airs daily on NickJr and on Univision and is perfect for preschool age children.  Pocoyo is a little boy who is figuring out the world around him with his friends.  The show is bright, colorful, easy to understand, engaging, and all ages are entertained by the clever humor and adorable animation.  In Pocoyo’s Circus, Pocoyo and his friends go on a new fun-filled circus adventure!  One day a group of curious aliens arrive in Pocoyo's world.  Pocoyo soon realizes that these new friends are not just any aliens; in fact, they are circus aliens! Their new friends treat Pocoyo and the gang to a free day at the circus, where Pocoyo and his friends must work together to help save the show! 

About the DVD:

Join Pocoyo and his friends on 8 fun filled adventures including Vamoosh on the Loosh, Pocoyo’s Circus, and Mystery Footprints.

Learn about increasing creativity, encouraging imagination, expressing feelings, problem solving and more!"

----

My Thoughts:
I am noticing more and more hit television children's television shows are releasing direct to DVD movies, like this new release from NCircle Entertainment, Pocoyo's Circus.  So, if you are a parent or grandparent, you will want to keep up with these releases by visiting official websites and doing searching through online retailers to see if new films will be released this fall and winter.  Most of the DVD releases are reasonably priced, like this one, which can be purchased for around $12.99, making them great stocking stuffer ideas, or movies to surprise the family with for family movie nights.

I ended up showing the girls this new DVD release on yesterday, and told them they would have to wait until Saturday for us to watch it.  You should have seen the look on their faces, as they were hoping I would tell them we would be watching it sooner.  Don't tell them, but I was joking with them on the viewing date, as I knew that after I showed it to them, that they would not stop asking if they could watch it.  So, after lunch the other day, I told them they could watch their one movie a day, and they chose another NCircle Entertainment favorite, "  ".  As they sat on the couch waiting for the movie to start, I put in Pocoyo's Circus instead.  When they saw Pocoyo appear on the screen, they couldn't stop screaming with excitement.  And, for the next 80 minutes, their attention stayed on the television as they watched this new DVD which featured the following seven short stories:

  • Mystery Footprints
  • Pocoyo's Balloon
  • Who's Calling Me Now?
  • Vamoosh on the Loosh
  • New on the Planet
  • Mad Mix Machine
  • Remember When
 Out of the seven episodes, both of my girls agreed that "Pocoyo's Balloon" was their favorite.  If you haven't seen this hit animated series, here is a little background on the show -- "Set in a 3D space, with a plain white background and usually no backdrops, it is about Pocoyo, a 3-year-old boy, interacting with his friends Pato (a duck), Elly (an elephant) and Loula (a dog). Viewers are encouraged to recognise situations that Pocoyo is in, and things that are going on with or around him. The narrator usually speaks explicitly to the viewers and to the characters as well. Each character has its own distinctive dance and also a specific sound (usually from a musical instrument), and most episodes end with the characters dancing. Many episodes also involve parties."

I have included "Pocoyo's Balloon" below from YouTube for your viewing pleasure. Maybe it will become you and your child's favorite episode from this popular children's series, too. :-)



If you enjoyed this episode, then you will want to pick up the new DVD release from NCircle Entertainment, "Pocoyo's Circus," which contains this and six other fun filled Pocoyo episodes.


--BUY NOW--

Available at Toys”R”Us, Kmart, Target, and Amazon.com as of 8/27/2013, with a suggested retail price of $12.99.


--GIVEAWAY--

Thanks to the folks at NCircle Entertainment, one lucky reader will win a copy of this new DVD release, to enjoy with their Pocoyo fan.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from NCircle Entertainment in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Arriving on DVD on Sept. 10th from Anchor Bay Entertainment -- Tickety Toc: Chime Time Adventures -- Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure:  I was sent a screener DVD and Cold Stone Creamery GC from the vendor, to help facilitate an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone. 




I was so excited last month was I was chosen to be a VIP Tick Tocketeer!, as my girls and I love watching this animated series on television.  One of the perks of being a VIP Tick Tocketeer!, besides being able to share fun giveaways and Tickety Toc news with you, is that I get to try preview new Tickety Toc DVDs and products before they are available for purchase in stores and online.  :-)  

Not familiar with Tickety Toc, which airs on Nick Jr. daily?  Here is a short YouTube clip from this hit animated series, as well as more background information on the show and new website:



More About Tickety Toc:

"Seen daily on Nick Jr., Tickety Toc follows the everyday adventures of 6-year-old twins, Tommy and Tallulah, as they work to “chime the time” and keep everything running smoothly in Tickety Town.  Traveling through the special Tickety Toc clock, where Tommy and Tallulah live, audiences enter a fantastical CGI world of eclectic characters and tag along on exciting escapades filled with slapstick surprises.  Tommy and Tallulah’s strong “can do” spirit often produces an unanticipated outcome, but their individual approach to sticky situations and joint resourcefulness always shine through and save the day!  Through the twins’ madcap adventures, Tickety Toc explores teamwork, social responsibility and problem solving – important concepts for preschoolers as they learn and grow.



More about the new website, TicketyToc.com:

On the new website, www.ticketytoc.com  fans enter Tickety Town through the Tickety Toc Clock, where they can play games, watch videos, unlock rewards and participate in other fun activities with the series’ stars. In each new activity, preschoolers must help the twins fix, fetch and find things, all before “Chime Time.” The site is programmed to reflect the exact time of day, so wherever fans are in the world, on the hour, every hour, they can take part in Chime Time. Consistent across the TV series and website are Tommy and Tallulah’s strong “can do” spirit and the key themes of teamwork, social responsibility and problem solving.   

Also, a unique timer feature on the site puts the power to set screen-time limits squarely in parents/caregivers hands. The feature on the new website lets parents set the amount of time their young charges can stay “connected,” from 5 to 30 minutes. When the sand in the hourglass runs out, Tommy and Tallulah appear to let the child know the session is over and it’s time to move on to something new.   In addition to its “timely” timer feature, the rich and engaging website, based on the fun, vibrantly colorful TV show, was developed in HTML 5, rather than Flash (the standard format of most sites for preschoolers). This progressive step allows access to all elements of the site – including the timer! – across multiple devices.

 ----

 

Pre-order from Amazon now for only $9.99

A couple of weeks ago, I received a screener copy of the upcoming Tickety Toc "Chime Time Adventures" DVD, which will be released by Anchor Bay Entertainment on Sept. 10th, along with a $40 Cold Stone Creamery gift card.  Why a gift card to Cold Stone Creamery, besides this ice cream shop having amazing ice cream that both kids and adults like?  In anticipation of the upcoming DVD release, Anchor Bay Entertainment and Cold Stone Creamery (along with Minute Rice and Uncle Matt's Organic) have partnered  to offer sweet deals for consumers who plan to pick up the new Tickety Toc DVD.  

Chime Time Adventures,” the first Tickety Toc title, launches at retail nationwide on September 10, and Anchor Bay is helping preschool Tic Tocketeers and their families extend all the fun of the anticipated release by serving-up three exciting new partnerships with Cold Stone Creamery®, Minute® Rice and Uncle Matt’s Organic®.  The national campaigns, which will provide fans with exclusive coupons and special rebates, will run from September to December 2013.
 
As part of the three exciting new promotions, Cold Stone Creamery is “mixing it up” by offering a coupon for $2 off the purchase of the new “Chime Time Adventures” DVD.  The vouchers will be offered through tear pads affixed to counter cards in 1,100 U.S. Cold Stone Creamery locations across the country.  

In addition, Minute Rice will treat customers to a $2 discount off the “Chime Time Adventures” DVD with the purchase of a 14 ounce box of white or brown rice.  Three million Minute Rice boxes will feature the on-pack coupon – along with DVD art and a kid-friendly recipe that the whole family can enjoy – on the back panel.

Further, consumers who purchase Uncle Matt’s Organic 59 ounce or 12 ounce juice bottles and the new DVD will be entitled to receive a $3 rebate in the mail.  As part of the Uncle Matt’s Organic campaign, one million juice units will feature the Tickety Toc DVD artwork throughout the promotional period. "

So, if you have plans to purchase the upcoming Tickety Toc DVD in stores instead of online, make sure you stop by your local Cold Stone Creamery to pick up a $2.00 off coupon, or look for specially marked Minute Rice or Uncle Matt's Organics products at your favorite local grocery store to save on this upcoming release.


---

When the girls and I first stumbled across this animated series, which airs on Nick Jr., we were hooked.  Not only were the bright and playful colors appealing to look at, but the whole storyline was fun and one little ones like my daughters could follow and enjoy.  Like any fun, imaginative animated series, Tickety Toc is about two twins, Tommy & Tallulah, who find themselves in Tickety Town, a make believe world found behind the Tickety Toc Clock.  The twins, along with their friends go on wild storybook adventures, as they race to chime the time in Tickety Town. 

Both my girls can't get enough of the twins and their Tickety Toc friends, Pufferty, McCoggins, Hopparoo, Madame Au Lait, Battersby, Chikidee and Tooteroo.  This show is not only entertaining, but is also teaches preschoolers and toddlers important lessons like friendship, teamwork, community and social responibility.  As a parent, I love sitting down to watch shows like this with my girls, and then being able to talk to them afterwards about what the show was about, the lessons learned and how they can apply them to their own lives.  Even though my girls are young, they still grasp the lessons.  Right now, teamwork, which my daughters have learned about from watching the screener copy of Tickety Toc: Chime Time Adventures, is big in our house.  Before watching this screener with their friends, I was having an issue with the girls not wanting to share their toys or even work together on a project.  But, after seeing the short animated adventures the twins take part in, the girls are finally acting like sisters (and best friends) and working together to complete tasks and projects. :-)

I ended up inviting a group of the girls' friends over, along with their moms, to watch the screener sent to me, the other day.  I surprised the kids with ice cream cupcakes that my husband had picked up with the Cold Stone Creamery gift card I was sent -- which made this screener party extra sweet. :-)  Only a handful of the kids had seen or heard about this show on Nick Jr., but all were excited to sit down, snack on an ice cream cupcake, and watch the upcoming DVD release, Tickety Toc: Chime Time Adventures."  As the 6 full-filled episodes played over the course of about 68 minutes, the other moms and I couldn't stop hearing the kids say, "Cool; Look at that; Go Tommy and Tallulah and finally "Play it again!" as they sat and stood watching this animated children's series.  






The moms who were not familiar with the show, couldn't stop talking about how much they liked it, especially when they saw the types of lessons this show taught young viewers.  They made a point to write down the series, so that they could not only pre-order a copy of the upcoming DVD, but also check out the new website and see about downloading the Season 1 episodes, now available for download and viewing on multiple platforms.

In the end, my Tickety Toc viewing party was a hit.  And, even though the ice cream cupcakes from Cold Stone Creamery added to the fun of the afternoon, all the kids agreed that the best part was watching all six Tickety Toc episodes.  So, if you are looking for a fun, educational series to share with your preschooler, why not tune into Nick Jr. daily to catch Tickety Toc.  Also, make a point to head to Amazon to pre-order the upcoming "Chime Time Adventures" DVD, which is available now for pre-order for only $9.99.  Once you and your little ones watch this fun animated series, you will be hooked, like my girls and I, and now all their friends and moms are! :-)


As you wait for the September 10th release, why not check out the new Tickety Toc website, or download a few episodes of this hit children's series now. 

Tickety Toc Episodes Now Available for Download! 

  If you missed Season 1 of Tickety Toc and would like to get caught up with missed episodes, I am happy to share that you can now download past episodes from Itunes, and other online platforms.

TicToc Digital


"It’s Time to Chime! Now your little ones can watch their favorite show anytime with the latest digital episodes from Season 1 (Vol 1 & 2). 


Other platforms offering the episodes for sale include: Amazon, Verizon FiOs, Xbox, Rovi, Vudu, youTube TV/Google Play, Barnes & Noble, PSN, HitBliss and FlixFling.

Now watching Tickety Toc is easypeasy lemon squeezy!"

 ---GIVEAWAY---

I am excited to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a copy of the upcoming Tickety Toc: Chime Time Adventures DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment, along with a $10 Cold Stone Creamery gift card.  To enter this fun giveaway, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

 

Disclosure:  I was sent a screener DVD and Cold Stone Creamery GC from the vendor, to help facilitate an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone. 

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Organize Your Handbags Once and For All w/ the Handy Hold All Organizer -- Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.




Before the girls arrived, one of the things I loved to buy and collect most was handbags.  If you have purchased high end handbags before, then you have probably received it in a drawstring bag or even a flip lid box.  Some of my favorite were Louis Vuitton, Mulberry, Dior, Burberry and Saint Laurent.  I found myself buying a new handbag a month, or when I needed a bag to match an outfit for a special occasion.  And, my husband always knew that I would love to receive a handbag for either my birthday or as a Christmas gift.  So, over the years, my handbag collection grew.  But, once the girls arrived in 2010 and 2011, my love of handbags and the need to purchase a new one for the different seasons or for special occasions, was put on hand.  Instead, my attention switched to purchasing diaper bags.  While I have purchased half a dozen diaper bags since 2010, I never really found myself getting excited about a new diaper bag, as I have for when I would buy a new designer handbag.

Now that the girls are getting older, and I find myself not having to carry bottles, formulas and other must-have baby essentials in my diaper bag, I have been able to visit my spare room closet, where I have been storing my handbags, and switch out my diaper bag with one of the many oversized handbags I bought and loved using in the past.  The first time I walked out of the house with one of my old handbags instead of my diaper bag, I couldn't help but smile.  It felt good to be carrying a stylish handbag, even if it was filled with toddler essentials. :-)



When I was up in the closet looking through the many handbags I own, I found myself having trouble seeing all the bags, as they were clustered together on nails my husband had put into the beam in the closet.  I even had handbags on the shelves and hanging from hooks on the shelves.  Not having been up in that closet since mid 2010, I forgot that I owned so many handbags.  If only there was a better way to organize my handbags, making them easier to view and choose from.

Thanks to the Handy Hold All Organizer, I finally found a solution to organizing and displaying some of my favorite handbags.




In addition to holding handbags, the Handy Hold All organizer is also great at keeping your eco-shopping bags organized, as well as baseball caps and scarves.


Handy Hold All™


It is so nice being able to walk upstairs to my spare closet and see some of my favorite handbags hanging off of the stylish Handy Hold All Organizer.  If I want to switch my bag for a day out with the girls, or even a weekend outing with the family, I simply have to unsnap one of the many loops on the Handy Hold All to swap out handbags.  And, just the other day, my husband was upstairs with the closet is, and couldn't help but comment on how nice the Handy Hold All Organizer looks.  He dreaded going into our spare room, let alone the spare closet, as the handbags always seemed to fall off the hooks or from the shelves.  But, thanks to this easy use over the door organizer, I have finally freed up some closet space for him. :-)



So, if you have a love of handbags and have a collection that is taking up space in one of your closets, or even covering your closet floor, you will want to check out the Handy Hold All Organizer by Simply Sarah.  At only $30.00, this is a steal!  Take it from me, a closet handbag hoarder, this organizer really does help keep your prized handbags organized and ready to grab and go.  If it wasn't for the opportunity to review this unique product, I would not have half the ladies on my holiday shopping list checked off already! :-)



Don't forget to follow Simply Sarah Handbags on Facebook and Twitter, to stay up-to-date on new additions, specials and more. 




---BUY NOW---

Head on over to the Simply Sarah website -- http://www.simplysarahshaw.com/ --  to view the different color/fabric options available for the Handy Hold All Organizer, which like I said are only $30.00 each. In addition to these over the door hangers, you can also purchase fabric cosmetic bags and baskets, to help keep you organized.


Square Basket Set of 3 - Pink DaisyCosmetic Bags

---GIVEAWAY---




Want to finally organize your eco-friendly shopping bags or handbags?  Then, complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form before for your chance to win a Handy Hold All Organizer of your own.  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Stork Babies, a Fun Line of Miniature Dolls -- Created by a Mom -- Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.



Stork Babies



Last week I shared a Spotlight on Mom feature with Elizabeth Cross of Stork Babies with you.  If you missed my interview with Elizabeth, please click here to read it now: http://www.inspiredbysavannah.com/2013/08/spotlight-on-mom-elizabeth-cross-of.html.

Due to Savannah getting injured playing with Arabella and needing glue adhesive to close up a laceration of her forehead, I had to push Elizabeth's Feature Friday/Product Review post to today.  I have been eagerly waiting to share more about Stork Babies, as my daughter, Savannah and niece love playing with them.  And, when Savannah and I spent 2 1/2 hours in the ER the other day, she had her purse filled with three of her favorite Stork Babies.  They helped keep her calm, while the ER doctors cleaned up and added the glue to her head.  They were also a talking point with the ER staff who saw them, as they, too, thought they were cute, and wished they had some to share with their daughters/granddaughters. 


#6 - Flordelise

Like I shared back during my Spotlight Mom post, I was given miniature dolls like these when I was little by my great aunt, and still have them today.  I packed them away in hopes to one day have a daughter of my own and be able to pass down these dolls to her, and share how I received them from my great aunt, and how much she had meant to me.  Elizabeth graciously sent me an assortment of her current Italian Stork Babies for the girls to review.  And, as soon as they saw me taking the dolls out of their boxes to look at them, the girls couldn't wait to also take a closer look and hold them.  Here are some photos I took of Savannah and Arabella playing with their new Stork Babies:









So, what makes the Stork Babies so unique, besides being cute miniature dolls? 

What makes Stork Babies Unique?

"Stork Babies all come with their own unique names, place of origin, fun facts and empowering sayings. Our hope is that parents take the time and talk to their children about the empowering and/or positive saying that comes with the doll. We know parents are busy, but it is so important that your little ones feel good about themselves. If you can, spend a few quality minutes and talk about how important it is to believe in yourself, your talents and dreams. Little ones are so impressionable at this age and significant images of themselves can be formed. This is the time we must share how important it is to love ourselves for who we are and those around us!!"

Even though my daughter Savannah is too young to understand the empowering saying and fun facts that are unique to each of the current Italian Collection Stork Babies, my niece found them interesting and loved learning more about each doll. While playing with Savannah, she would share these fun facts.  For young girls, these Stork Babies are not only fun to play with, but are a great way to remind girls to believe in themselves, and let them know that they are unique, and all their personal qualities make them who they are and special.

I am happy I stumbled across the Stork Babies website and was able to interview and share a Spotlight on Mom feature with Elizabeth Cross with you all.  And, with the holidays and fall birthdays right around the corner, these cute miniature dolls would make for a great gift to share with that special girl in your life.  Make sure you keep an eye out, as Elizabeth is adding a new Spanish Stork Babies Collection to her current product offering, along with fun mini-accessories for the Stork Babies, like high chairs, cribs and strollers. 



Personally, I can't wait to see the mini-accessories.  And, I will be picking up the Spanish Collection Stork Babies to share with my girls, who are part Latina.


---Win the Complete Italian Collection---

Thanks to Elizabeth, she is offering one lucky reader a chance to win her Italian Stork Babies Collection (7 dolls in total).  To enter this giveaway, please complete the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
--SAVE 10% NOW--

Don't want to wait and see if you win this giveaway?  Then, head on over to the Stork Babies website and place your order for one or all of the Italian Collection Stork Babies.  And, just for Inspired by Savannah readers, Elizabeth is offering readers the opportunity to save 10% off their total. order.  To take advantage of this special discount (which is valued for a limited time), please send your order through to orders@mystorkbabies.com and state "Blog Discount".  Elizabeth will then get back in touch with you to complete your checkout



Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Make Learning About the Past Fun with the New History Hero App From Mind Gamez -- Review & $50 Amex #Giveaway

Disclosure: I was given a promo code to download this app, as well as a monetary gift card to help cover expenses to visit a museum of my choice to try out he new app History Hero, from the vendor.  However, all views are mine and mine alone.




History Hero Logo


History Hero Shield Logo

The World Needs a Hero

Sightseeing with your family will never be the same! Save the world, defeat the Erasers and learn about history by playing the first interactive video game to guide you through the world's most important museums, churches and historical sites.

Last weekend my husband and I took the kids to NYC for the weekend.  We haven't been back to the city since welcoming Bella in 2011, so we were excited not only to introduce them to the wonders of NYC, but also return to a place that we love.  Prior to having kids, my husband and I would take the train from Old Saybrook or New London, CT into NYC.  It was an enjoyable 2 1/2 hr. ride each way, that made for great site seeing from the windows, especially during the fall foliage season, or as a way to just sit back and unwind, and not have to worry about driving this long distance just to enjoy all that NYC has to offer.


But, when planning our recent NYC trip, I wondered if it would be better to drive or take the train in.  If we drove, we could make pit stops along the way, if the kids started acting up.  If we took the train, we may have found ourselves stressing out more, as we tried to keep them occupied and seated for the duration of the train ride.  In the end, we decided on the train ride. Not only does Savannah love trains and train rides, but we were also taking our 6 yr. old and 8 yr. old niece and nephew along for the trip, and the car would have been cramped with car seats, booster seats and overnight bags. 

While on the train, my niece and nephew kept asking what we would be doing when we arrived, as they had never been to NYC.  I wish you could have saw their faces when I told them we were going to spend the weekend taking in museums and art.  My 8 yr. old niece even said, "Boring" to me, as she slowly rolled her eyes and looked away in disappoint.  They were supposed to be on summer break, and here I was trying to expose them to learning.  What was wrong with me?

Have you ever received the same reaction from your kids when you tell them you are going to take in a history or art museum?  I bet you have!  :-)  But, even though the kids would be learning new things, as they experienced NYC for the first time, I promised them that their trip to the MoMA, Met and Museum of Natural History would be one they would never forget.  Why, you ask?  Well, you would think because these museums are amazing and a must-see attraction when visiting NYC...but, when you are trying to get little ones excited about visiting these attractions, you have to make it worth their while.  And, that we did, thanks to a fun new app, History Hero, created by Mind Gamez.  Never heard of the History Hero app?  Neither did I, until I was given the chance to review it with my family. 

Here is more about the History Hero app, along with a demo video:



iPhone Screenshot 2

"The history of the world is at risk. The International Committee on Extraterrestrial Threats is reporting that the Erasers are closing in on museums, churches and other historical sites. Time is running out. If we don’t secure critical data about our most important historical artifacts, our history will be gone. Forever.


iPhone Screenshot 1

The answer to this global crisis is History Hero – the first interactive video game to guide you through the world’s most important museums, churches, and historical sites. One simple download will transform a family sightseeing outing into a world-saving, alien-battling, history-learning adventure.



"Developed in consultation with top U.S. educators, History Hero brings history to life in a way that guidebooks and audio tours cannot. Kids of all ages – and their parents – take on interactive missions from the International Committee of Extraterrestrial Threats to save the world. History Hero injects excitement into family sightseeing outings by engaging young people of all ages in an entertaining and educational battle between the History Heroes and the Erasers – evil aliens who want to destroy our history to make us weaker as a planet and more vulnerable to attack.

History Hero missions are designed for three age groups – ages [4-7] (with an adult), 8-12 and teenage/adult, and are available currently in the following locations across the United States and Europe...
  • Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago and Field Museum of Natural History
  • New York: MoMA, Met and Museum of Natural History and Central Park
  • Washington DC: Mall and Monuments, National Air & Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, Museum of American History, National Museum of the American Indian, Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian Castle
  • London: British Museum, Museum of Natural History, National Gallery, Tate Modern and Tower of London
  • Paris: Notre Dame, Louvre, Sacre Coeur, Versailles and Fontainebleau
  • Rome: Vatican, Colosseum, Pantheon, Roman Forum and St. Peter’s Basilica

So, how does this app work?: 


Players start off by choosing a hero -- like Atlas Mapp and Ally Blast  to play as. 
 

Image of hero Atlas MappImage of hero Ally N. Blast
Then, the fun begins as they embark on a mission to save history, defeat the Erasers and earn points by:


This is what you would see if you chose the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

•Following clues to find the most important artifacts at the site;
•Answering challenging questions about the artifacts;
•Taking photos of the artifacts to preserve them for history;
•Learning age-appropriate, interesting facts about the artifacts which are recorded on a “secure hard drive” for preservation;
•Unlocking awesome celebrations by the History Heroes; and
•Winning the coveted History Hero Medal of Honor.


Within a few minutes of arriving at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, I went from being a boring aunt, to a cool aunt, as the kids were getting into the fun History Hero app.  Even Savannah, who is only 3 yrs. old, loved looking on as her cousins would read clues, find and answer questions about artifacts they find along the way, and take photos to preserve these artifacts, in order to advance through the mission, in hopes to ultimately "save the world" from the alien threats.  While my husband were more excited to be walking through a history or art museum compared to a children's one, we, too, were getting into the History Hero app, just by seeing the kids so excited and eager to find more and more artifacts.  And, once we had successful completed the missions available in NYC, the kids couldn't stop talking about this fun, educational app, or what they saw and learned during their weekend in NYC, as we travelled by train back home to CT.  I would have thought they would ask if we could go back to NYC in the winter to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree, but instead, they wanted to go back to try out the History Hero app again, as it was "out of this world fun" as my nephew put it! :-)

The app itself was easy to download and navigate through.  My 8 year old niece took control of our iPad, as we walked through the museums completing our History Hero missions. 

I can't wait until new museums are added to the mission list, including Boston.  Being from Boston, and living closer to Boston than NYC, missions to popular Massachusetts based museums would be great for my family to take in on weekends.

-- Download the History Hero App Now --

This app is available through the iTunes store as a FREE download.  The missions for each individual museum are only $4.99. Click here to learn more about the History Hero App, and to download it today -- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/history-hero/id661731419?ls=1&mt=8.

Note the following requirements before downloading this app: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.1 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

---GIVEAWAY---

Want to try out this cool new educational History Hero app with your family?  Then, enter my giveaway to win a $50 American Express gift card and a $10 iTunes gift card from the creators of History Hero, along with a FREE Code to download this new app to your mobile device!  Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. No purchase necessary to enter. Giveaway ends 9/17/13 @12AM EST.
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclosure: I was given a promo code to download this app, as well as a monetary gift card to help cover expenses to visit a museum of my choice to try out he new app History Hero, from the vendor.  However, all views are mine and mine alone.
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