Friday, September 30, 2016

Kids App Review -- Blue Apprentice, A STEM-Based Science Game for Kids Ages 6-12 by Galxyz #blueapprentice #STEM

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in which I was compensated for my time. However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.

Introducing an online educational adventure, based on Next Generation Science Standards...

(Recommended for children ages 6-12 years old)

If you follow my blog then you know that I homeschool my girls.  I have been doing so for the past couple of years.  This year both of my girls are completing grade 1 work, and loving the lesson plans, which include fun themed weeks.  When it comes to my daughters' favorites subjects, they are both quick to chime in art, math and science.  Savannah is a strong reader, will Bella is quickly catching up.  In addition to in-home classes, the girls also attend a nature class each week, along with a monthly nautical and history-based class.  When we aren't running around to classes, the girls love doing school work at home and using their iPads and the computer to play fun and educational games.

In a day and age where most children, even the youngest of kids, are tech savvy, it is no wonder there are countless apps available to them.  But, which apps are really educational based and worth investing in?  I, for one, am always looking for new apps to try out and purchase and add to my girls' schooling.  I find educational apps that tie in what we are learning or can be used as tutor or provide extra help in mastering a skill or subject to be key in the overall success of my girls' homeschooling education.

Recently, I had the opportunity to review the new (launched this past August) educational app, Blue Apprentice, and share it with my girls.

Prior to letting the girls use the app, I spent some time playing the app myself on our computer - this app can be used with your desktop or laptop computer or downloaded onto your iPad.  What first caught my attention and made me fall in love with the app was the graphics.  "Wow!"  

Galxyz Provides Self-Paced Science Learning Through Interactive Animated Online Game & App. Information on TechSavvyMama.com


The animation of this educational STEM-based app is simply stunning.  It is like you are watching a sci-fi animated movie.  I knew my girls would love this aspect of the game once I let them play it -- and, that they did, as they couldn't stop talking about how great the graphics were and how they make the interactive game feel real.


iPad Screenshot 4


Before I go on about how much I and my girls love Blue Apprentice, here is a little background and the official app trailer...


"Blue Apprentice is an intergalactic science adventure and mobile game featuring a young scientist who explores alien worlds and applies science learning to solve problems.  Blue Apprentice encourages mastery of elementary science concepts and develops scientific reasoning for elementary school kids.

iPad Screenshot 1

Conforming to Next Generation Science Standards-based curriculum, the game can be used in parallel with classroom learning by parents and teachers. Blue Apprentice’s mission is to ignite a fascination for science and unlock the true potential in every child."



Blue Apprentice is a subscription-based app in which becoming a member through a monthly, quarterly or annual subscription plan will open up more game play modes and worlds.  Currently Blue Apprentice teaches over 45 science concepts including the following...


If you are a homeschooling family looking to incorporate a fun STEM-based program into your children's learning, or you simply have a child who loves science or playing educational apps to learn more, then you will definitely want to check out Blue Apprentice.  I for one can't get over how many science concepts this app covers and teaches your child.  Your child will love the interactive story mode as they advance through the different levels and planets, while they explore science topics including the periodic table.  

iPad Screenshot 2


Your kids will forget that this is an educational game as they will get so wrapped up in the story.  If you have children who are reluctant to play an app as it is educational which they think is dull or boring, will be quick to fall in love with this unique science-themed app, and not want to put it down.



We have only had this game for a couple of weeks, but both of my girls continue to ask for it and play Blue Apprentice daily.  They love sharing new science information they learn from their gaming experience, and I love seeing them getting about science and the periodic table of elements.  

-- GET IT NOW -- 



Like I mentioned above, you can download and play Blue Apprentice on either your desktop computer or iPad.  To use with your desktop computer, please visit blueapprentice.com and click "play the game." A Chrome browser is recommended. After a short 30 second download, your intergalaxical educational gaming experience will begin. 

Want to use this app with your iPad?  Then head on over to the iTunes app store at  
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blue-apprentice-elementary/id1123707853?mt=8 and download the game. Note:  iPad's with retina display are recommended (iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro).  In a matter of moments, your child will be on their way exploring the universe of science with Grit and the Galxyz team!

For a limited time, you can sign up and try out the Blue Apprentice app with your child(ren) FREE for 7 days.  Act fast as this offer is only available for a short time!  A subscription to Galxyz's Blue Apprentice costs $74.95 annually, $24.95 quarterly or $10.95 monthly. 


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in which I was compensated for my time. However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Stopping by the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA This October - Enter to #Win Tickets Now!!! #Giveaway

Disclosure:  I was provided with complimentary tickets in exchange for promoting the show. However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.





I am so excited to be partnering again with the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester, MA.  I have had so many readers reach out and ask about family events in the New England area and about shows like the ones I used to cover and offer giveaways for at the Hanover Theatre in years past.  To kick off my partnership with the Hanover Theatre, I am excited to share news about Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, a wonderful family-friendly show making a stop October 13-16th to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA.  And, in addition to this wonderful musical making for a great family night on the town, the folks at Hanover Theatre's education department are hosting a fun pre-show family soirre, where kids can participate in fun crafts, activities and more.

Here is more about Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and the special family night happening opening night...



"Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, is the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love... the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more... plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream... or a really great pair of shoes."





- Family Night Pre-Show Event - 

The family night pre-show soiree (October 13th only) is taking place in the new, large function space at 551 Main Street with children’s activities and such in the new conservatory!  Kids in attendance will be able to participate in an exciting array of activities including an opportunity to make their own tiara, learn how to royal curtsy, and so much more.  I told my girls about the show and pre-show activities, and they were quick to add it to their calendars, and can't wait for October 13th to get here.  Bella has already picked out her favorite princess gown she plans to wear to show Cinderella and the Prince. :-)

Hopefully you will be able to clear your family's busy schedule to take in either the family night on October 13th or one of the other five performances of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, when it makes a stop at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester.  This is definitely one family-friendly show not to be missed, and one your whole family will enjoy!


--GET YOUR TICKETS NOW--




Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella is making a stop at Hanover Theatre between October 13th and October 16th.  Tickets are now on show for each of the shows, ranging in price of $39-$74, depending on location.  

To celebrate opening night and the fun-filled family night, the folks at Hanover Theatre are offering a great BOGO offer.  If you plan on attending on October 13th, be sure to use promo code FAMILY at checkout to receive a special "Buy One Adult Ticket, Get a Child Ticket FREE."  What an amazing deal, right?  I don't know about you, but I love being able to save $$$ when planning a fun family night for the family. 

Note:  This promo code will only work for the Opening Night performance, October 13th.

Show Dates and Performance Times:

10/13 7:30 PM
10/14 8:00 PM
10/15 2:00 PM
10/15 8:00 PM
10/16 1:00 PM
10/16 6:30 PM

Tickets are $39, $54, $64 and $74 depending on seat location. Discounts are available for members and groups of 10+. Please call the box office at 877.571.SHOW (7469) for more information. 

Head on over to the official Hanover Theatre website to order your tickets now -- http://thehanovertheatre.org/cinderella.

--GIVEAWAY--



Thanks to the kind folks at the Hanover Theatre, one lucky reader will win four (4) tickets to the opening night, October 13th, 7:30PM show.  Remember this is the show I mentioned above that is offering a fun family pre-show soiree with kids activities and more.  

To enter this giveaway, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!




Disclosure:  I was provided with complimentary tickets in exchange for promoting the show. However, all views shared are mine and mine alone.
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October is National Fire Prevention Month -- Check Out These Tips and Products To Protect Your Home Today!







"Household fires are all too common, with a fire department responding to one every 24 seconds on average, according to The National Fire Protection Association.  October is National Fire Prevention Month, so now is the time to protect the home against fire safety hazards.

Learning about the newest smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and how to operate a fire extinguisher can help keep your home safe from fires. There are three fire safety must-dos to help protect your home.

Test and Upgrade Alarms:

Kidde Battery Operated Ionization Smoke Alarm

·         According to The National Fire Protection Association, two thirds of residential fire fatalities result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms.
·         Take 10 minutes to ensure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are functioning at least twice a year. If batteries need to be replaced, use the long-lasting Duracell Quantum batteries. These advanced alkaline batteries have an exclusive PowerCheck feature that allows you to verify the power level at any time.
·         Install wall-mounted alarms no more than 12 inches away from the ceiling to provide the earliest warning possible, and always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

·         Some alarms are built with custom functionality for the different rooms in your home:

Kidde Worry Free 10-Year Sealed Lithium Battery Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Combination Alarm with Voice Warning
o    Kitchen: Kidde Worry Free 10-Year Sealed Lithium Battery Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Combination Alarm with Voice Warning distinguishes between cooking and fire smoke to detect real fires faster and reduce false alarms from cooking. It’s also powered by lithium-ion batteries that can last for 10 years to minimize maintenance.

Kidde Worry Free 10-Year Hallway Sealed Lithium Battery Operated Smoke Alarm with LED Escape Light

o    Hallways: Kidde 10 Year Smoke Alarm with LED Escape Light helps your family exit quickly with bright LEDs that provide a lighted escape when the alarm sounds. 

Kidde Twin Pack Worry Free 10 Year Combination Alarm with Voice
o    Bedrooms: The Kidde Twin Pack Worry Free 10 Year Combination Alarm with Voice is perfect for bedrooms – voice alarms are more effective in waking up heavy sleepers, especially children who may sleep through the siren but will wake up to a voice. Another good option for bedrooms is the Code One Ionization Smoke Alarms. Not only does the two-value pack have a loud sound, but it’s also automatic and easy to install.


Nest Protect Wired Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
  • Place the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector in any room to keep your home safe while you’re away. The Nest Protect connects to your phone and notifies you if there is a fire, carbon monoxide threat or low battery. The advanced technology in the unit easily detects the location and cause of the problem, and it protects the home for up to 10 years.
Get Educated on Extinguishers:

Kidde Recreational 1-A:10-B:C Fire Extinguisher
·         Fire extinguishers effectively put out 80 percent of all fires according to a study, so make sure you have at least one on every level. Here are a few that you can have in specific areas in the home.


Kidde UL 711A Kitchen Fire Extinguisher
o    Kitchen: Kitchen fires are unique because of the oil and grease used in cooking, choose an extinguisher designed for cooking related fires like the Kidde UL 711A Kitchen Fire Extinguisher.

Kidde 5 B:C Fire Extinguisher
o    Garage: Flammable chemicals are likely stored in the garage, so choose an extinguisher with a higher capacity to combat combustible materials such as the Kidde 5 B:C Fire Extinguisher.

Kidde 1-A:10-B:C Fire Extinguisher (6-Pack per Case)

o    Living Area: The Kidde 1-A:10-B:C Fire Extinguisher can be used on most household fires, including trash, wood, paper, liquid, gas and electrical equipment fires.

·         When using a fire extinguisher, use the P.A.S.S. technique as described by the National Fire Protection Association:
o    PULL the pin.
o    AIM low and point the nozzle at the base of the fire.
o    SQUEEZE the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
o    SWEEP from side to side at the base of the fire until it’s out.

 Prepare An Escape Plan

·         According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, it’s important to make a plan, so everyone in your house knows the best escape routes. Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone will know to meet.
·         After making your home fire escape plan, practice it at least twice a year and make the drill as realistic as possible by aiming to get out in five minutes or less.

Kidde 2-Story Fire Escape Ladder - 13 ft. L

·         If you have a multilevel property, have the Kidde Fire Escape Ladder handy to drop out the window and create an emergency exit. The ladder requires no assembly and the tangle-free design allows you to get out of the house fast and easy. 
Image result

During National Fire Prevention Month, Home Depot will also be having an in-store experience that will help prepare your home in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide threat.

·         The Home Depot will host a free Workshop available in all stores:

Workshop image

o    Kids Workshop, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Kids will learn how to build a fire truck. Some stores even invite the local fire department to participate!

o    Fire Safety Skills Workshop, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Attendees will learn important fire safety skills, including how to install a smoke / carbon monoxide detector.

Go to workshops.homedepot.com for more information about what we are doing in stores and to register in advance."


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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Notorious is Thursday's #1 New Show! - It's My New Guilty Pleasure! #ad @ABCNotorious

Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network. All views shared are mine and mine alone.



Image result for abc notorious poster


I love this time of year...not just because of the fall foliage and apples and pumpkins, but also for the new fall line up of television shows.  I don't know about you, but I hate having to pass time in the summer when it comes to watching television -- all those reruns.  But, once September arrives and kids go back to school -- the new shows arrive, as well as favorites that been on break since the late spring.

Unfortunately most of the shows I used to watch have ended their run or didn't make the line up this fall.  So, I was eagerly awaiting premiere episodes of a handful of shows to find some new favorite shows to look forward to each week.  How about you? One show in particular I was excited to see was Notorious starring Piper Perabo.  I have been a fan of this actress from when way back in the day when she starred in Coyote Ugly.  I knew this break out role was going to skyrocket her career, and that it did with more movies and television deals.  And, now she is back in what I see a hit series with a long run in this new hit legal drama series airing on ABC every Thursday at 9PM EST/8PM Central Time.


More about the show:

Piper Perabo, who you may also know from the hit television series Covert Affairs stars as a #1 news TV producer alongside Daniel Sunjata, who plays Jake Gregorian a hot-shock defense attorney who manipulates the media along with Piper's character, Julia George, to win cases, while she brings in the high ratings and viewership for her news program.  Both Julia and Jake will do whatever it takes to win -- at any cost.  



I love legal dramas and have to say that Notorious is one of the best -- if not the best I have seen over the years (I have only seen one episode, so can't say #1 just yet...but, I am feeling it! :-) ).  What makes this show even better is that the show is based on actual true-life stories from famed criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos and "Larry King Live" news producer, Wendy Walker.  I found this out after watching the first episode and this made the show even better in my eyes as I love seeing real cases and story lines play out on television.

I tuned in last Thursday and was hooked on this show, and can't wait until tomorrow night to see what happens next.  If you haven't seen the premiere episode and have HULU, you will want to check it out, so you can follow. You can also watch the show's episodes on the ABC App. But, if you don't it is still early in season that you can tune in tomorrow and be caught up. Here is a sneak peak into tomorrow night's episode...
His cases...Her Headlines.

Notorious TV show on ABC: season 1 (canceled or renewed?).

Piper Perabo stars as Julia and Daniel Sunjata stars as Jake on the Notorious TV show on ABC. 

Episode Story line for "The Perp Walk" (Episode 2 of hit new series): "Oscar goes off the rails as Sarah's funeral approaches, but Jake must defend him and shield him from the media even as tries to keep his feelings for Sarah in check. Meanwhile, Julia searches for Sarah's brother to get the lowdown on a family quarrel; and a woman's appearance on "Louise Herrick Live" could inadvertently provide clues in her baby's kidnapping."

This new legal drama will have you hooked from the start, as you try to figure out who committed the crime and how Julia and Jake will spin the case/story in their favor.  The characters are vulnerable as they have a personal life that plays out on the side -- with a breakup and an affair.  Juicy stuff that also makes this a must see show.

I could go on and on about why I am loving Notorious.  But, instead, why not tune in tomorrow night to watch the show for yourself. Or, if you can't watch it at that time, record it and watch it as soon as you can, as you will probably being hearing spoilers from family and friends who are addicted, just like I am to the show. :-)

Stay up-to-date on Notorious by following the show's social media page and official website below...

Notorious on Twitter -- https://twitter.com/ABCNotorious
Notorious on Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/NotoriousABC
Notorious on Intagram -- https://www.instagram.com/abcnotorious/
Notorious Official Website -- http://abc.go.com/shows/notorious

Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network. All views shared are mine and mine alone.


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Friday, September 23, 2016

Have You Seen the New It's My Birthday! Personalized Book from I See Me! -- It Was a Hit with My Daughter! (Review) #iseemebooks

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




I can't believe my youngest daughter, Arabella...but, we call her Bella for short, is going to be 5 in November.  Where did the time go?  It is hard to remember back when they were babies, as it has been crazy (good) since both of our daughters were born in 2010 and 2011 -- 15 months apart.  I wouldn't change anything for the world....just wish I could slow down time and enjoy their innocence and being little a little bit longer. But, that is not possible.  So, instead, I am cherishing each and every day with them, and am looking forward to celebrating her big day soon.  

As part of her birthday gift this year, we will be surprising her with the new It's My Birthday! Personalized Book from the folks at I See Me!  When it comes to birthday and holidays, I always make a point to give the girls a personalized gift in addition to their other presents, so that they have something to cherish for years to come.  And, now that the girls are learning how to read, I have found personalized books are perfect, as we can snuggle up on the couch in bed at bedtime and read together.  They love pointing out their names and photos of themselves that they see in the pages of the I See Me! personalized books I create especially for them.

If you have a child with a birthday coming up, why not consider the new It's My Birthday! Personalized Book from I See Me!  Here is more about this new personalized book that is sure to be another best selling from my and so many others go-to vendor in personalized books and gifts for kids....



"It’s your child’s birthday and word is getting around fast! In this entertaining and whimsical storybook, your child wakes up to a special birthday greeting from Buzzy the bird. The adventure builds and the birthday celebration just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Buzzy spreads the news to your child’s family and friends, throughout your child’s town, throughout the nation, around the globe and even into outer space! Your child will feel extra-special on his or her birthday with this uniquely personalized book.


“It’s My Birthday!” can be personalized with your child’s name, photo, birth date, age, town and more! You can even choose the color of the cover."
--
I was trying my best to save the book to give to Bella closer to her birthday, but during one of her snooping escapades, she and Savannah found it.  She walked up the stairs smiling and with a twinkle in her eye, saying, "Look, Mom, a book just for me."  I couldn't take it back. 

So, instead, I snuggled up with the girls on the couch and we read Bella's Birthday Book.  The girls loved the story, and Bella especially loved seeing herself in the illustrations throughout the book.  There were even a few pages where her name was incorporated into the illustration, which both girls thought was neat.  


When I was done with the book, the girls were quick to ask me to read it again.  So, we did.  And, since then, we seem to be reading this book on a weekly basis...sometimes a couple times a week. I know that as Bella's birthday draws near, she will want me to read this book more to her, as she gets excited for her special day.  But, in the meantime, she enjoys flipping through the book and pointing to herself and her name, while telling the story to her stuffed animals.  

Out of all the books I have made for Bella from I See Me!, she says that this one is by far her favorite, next to the Christmas one I gave her last year.
I highly recommend I See Me! for personalized books and gifts, if you are looking for a unique gift to give that special child in your life.  Their personalized books are always a hit with kids and will be cherished for years to come.  To learn more about this new It's My Birthday! Personalized Book and other products you can personalize like  Lunchboxes / Puzzles /Coloring BooksPlacemats / Stickers  and Growth Charts for that special someone, head on over to I See Me! today -- http://www.iseeme.com/.
Stay up-to-date with news relating to I See Me! including new product additions, special offers, giveaway and more by following their official website and social media channels below...



Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

SCRIBBLITT AND DAWNSIGNPRESS BRING HEARING AND DEAF CHILDREN TOGETHER IN CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL WEEK OF THE DEAF





"Scribblitt and DawnSignPress are joining together to offer a writing contest for school-aged children nationwide in support of International Week of the Deaf. Kids create a short story with a modern-day fairytale theme. The grand prize contest winner will have his/her story published in hardcover by Scribblitt, translated into American Sign Language (ASL) by Deaf kids and filmed in ASL. Ten other winners will have their stories published in hardcover by Scribblitt and receive a “Once Upon a Sign” video from DawnSignPress.



The idea for this contest came from a common goal of providing tools that help kids improve their communication skills. “I hope the collaborative contest with Scribblitt will help improve awareness of American Sign Language and bring hearing and Deaf children together just as our award-winning children’s video series ‘Once Upon a Sign’ has,” says Joe Dannis, President of DawnSignPress. The company is offering a free viewing of “Jack and the Beanstalk” from the “Once Upon a Sign” series in connection with
 International Week of the Deaf. To watch “Jack and the Beanstalk” between 9/19/16 and 9/25/16, go to VIMEO and use the password, IWD2016.

Teachers can access this video and some unique writing and illustration tools on Scribblitt.com to engage their students in a writing assignment or to enter this writing contest. “We are thrilled to help spark creativity in all young authors, Deaf and hearing, in school or out, to write and publish their own books,” says Scribblitt founder, Andrea Bergstein. “We hope that teachers will use this opportunity to tie together 5 lessons in writing and editing with building awareness for American Sign Language and Deaf culture.”

The contest launches via Scribblitt.com on September 19 in honor of International Week of the Deaf and continues through December 15. Winners will be announced on or around January 16, 2017. To enter simply register for a free account at Scribblitt.com, login, write a story in “Write itt” and enter the story on the Scribblitt contest page."
-----

About Scribblitt.com:

Scribblitt provides kids an online space and tools to help them write, illustrate and publish their own professionally printed hardcover books. For every book published, Scribblitt donates a book to a child in need.

About DawnSignPress:

DawnSignPress publishes American Sign Language educational materials and looks to increase awareness of ASL and Deaf culture by bringing hearing and Deaf together to enjoy ASL.
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