Archives for December 2013

Dive into the New Year with the Octonauts! Giveaway Opportunity!

 

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Dive into the New Year and into adventure with everyone’s favorite underwater explorers, the International EMMY-nominatedOctonauts, and join them on their mission to “explore, rescue and protect!” Here Come the Octonauts is available for the FIRST time on DVD on January 7, 2014, from NCircle Entertainment—available at Walmart and many other retailers and grocery stores nationwide! I received this DVD to check out and it really is a delightful DVD that young children will love! The characters are fun and very likable!

In Here Come the Octonauts, Captain Barnacles must figure out how to free an old friend who is trapped beneath the ice; Kwazii tries to rescue a reef full of creatures before an undersea storm strikes; and Peso must help a school of frightened fish who have invaded the Octopod!

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Based on the books of the same name by Vicki Wong and Michael Murphy, who write under the name Meomi, Octonauts is broadcast weekday mornings on Disney Channel’s Disney Junior block. The Octonauts received a BAFTA nomination for Best Animated Preschool Show in 2011 and 2013; and in October 2012 was nominated for an International EMMY Award.

 

And watch out in 2014 for some great new Octonauts events—the Octonauts have recently partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to work jointly to raise awareness of ocean exploration and science and advance NOAA’s mission!  The partnership, which extends learning beyond the screen, includes plans for events at aquariums nationwide and joint development of educational materials!

And now for some fun and FREE Octonauts activities to enjoy with your child!

Color and collect all of the Octonauts Octo-Crew Cards at DisneyJunior.com!

Decorate your own Kelp Cake, navigate a maze, play hide and seek and enjoy more coloring activities and “look and find” games here!

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And you’ll find more Octonauts activities and more from NCircle Entertainment  here.

We have teamed up with NCircle Entertainment for a New Year Giveaway! You must be a subscriber to enter! Next, like their Facebook page by clicking here.  Deadline to enter is January 5th, 2014 at midnight! One winner will randomly be selected from all entries! Don’t forget to also leave a comment below saying that you are entering!

Self Disclosure: I received a free DVD to facilitate this feature. Photo Credit: NCircle Entertainment.

 

SEASON THREE OF HIT DISNEY JUNIOR SERIES “JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES,” FEATURING NEW VILLAINS, SPECIAL ACTION-PACKED EXTENDED EPISODES AND REVAMPED PIRATE ROCK THEME SONG, TO DEBUT FRIDAY, JANUARY 3 ON DISNEY CHANNEL -- Jack McBrayer, Mark Hamill, Carl Reiner, Rico Rodriguez, Estelle Harris and Jo Frost among Guest Stars --

Season three of Disney Junior’s Emmy-nominated animated series “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” will premiere FRIDAY, JANUARY 3 on Disney Channel (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) and Disney Junior (7:50 p.m., ET/PT).  The new season introduces rival characters including pirate ghosts, mummies and robots, and incorporates special super powers and spectacular gadgets for Jake and his crew, including Jake’s Mega-Mecha Sword, a robot suit and an invisibility ring that will help the gang outwit their new adversaries.  The season will also include action-packed extended length episodes and a revamped rock and roll-style theme song performed by Sharky and Bones of The Never Land Pirate Band.

 

Celebrity guest stars include Jack McBrayer as a pirate mummy, Mark Hamill as chilling pirate Shiverjack, Carl Reiner as ghost pirate Captain Treasure Tooth, Rico Rodriguez as Snow-Foot, Estelle Harris as Peg-Leg Peg and Jo Frost as Nanny Nell, Captain Hook’s no-nonsense nanny.

New episodes of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” will air every Friday throughout January and February culminating with the premiere of a special extended episode on Friday, February 28, featuring three 11-minute stories that pit Jake against Hook in an ultimate showdown.  All featured episodes will be simulcast for verified users on WATCH Disney Junior in conjunction with the television premieres and will become available the following day on WATCH Disney Junior, Disney Junior on Demand, iTunes, Xbox and Amazon.

 

Beginning Friday, January 31, DisneyJunior.com/Jake will debut the new game, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: The Super Pirate,” where players can take on the role of Jake as he attempts to retrieve the Mega-Mecha Sword that Captain Hook has stolen.  Each Friday throughFebruary 28, kids are invited to unlock a new game level.

 

The strong connection kids 2-7 and their parents have with the characters and stories of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” has led to brand extensions across other Disney businesses.  The series is prominently featured in Feld Entertainment’s 90-city nationwide tour, “Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate and Princess Adventure,” and Jake and his crew are an integral part of the popular “Disney Junior Live on Stage!” attraction at Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida where the Jake character also meets with fans daily.  Disney Consumer Products has licensed LEGO® DUPLO® sets, action figures and playsets, board games, bikes, apparel and bedding, available at major retailers nationwide.

 

“Jake and the Never Land Pirates” airs daily on Disney Junior and Disney Channel’s Disney Junior programming block for kids age 2-7. The series stars Cameron Boyce as Jake; Madison Pettis as Izzy; Jonathan Morgan Heit as Cubby; David Arquette as Skully; Corey Burton as Captain Hook; Jeff Bennett as Mr. Smee and Bones and Loren Hoskins as Sharky. Rob LaDuca is executive producer, Mark Seidenberg is producer/story editor and Howy Parkins is director, all of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.”  The series is produced by Disney Television Animation.

 

Disney Junior reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior’s series blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills. In the U.S., Disney Junior is a daily programming block on Disney Channel and a 24-hour channel.  There are 33 Disney Junior channels in 24 languages around the world.

Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United – A New Marvel/Disney Collaboration KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions, www.kidsfirst.org

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Iron Man and the Hulk team up in this groundbreaking Marvel CG Animation rated PG for sci-fi violence and some language. According to 11-year-old Gerry O, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, “This move has a lot to offer – comedy, thrilling scenes, adventure, suspense, action and, of course, super heroes.” Gerry’s full review is below.

Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Video review available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSTRQK5PynA

Iron Man and Hulk together. When you think about it, it’s a quite strange combination. Iron Man is zap-zap tech, but Hulk is BOOM, BOOM, and BOOM! “Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” is a unique movie all Marvel fans will adore.

This move has a lot to offer – comedy, thrilling scenes, adventure, suspense, action and, of course, super heroes.

The great story begins when Hulk is captured and well, he saves himself. Sadly, a new villain has risen and Hulk and Iron Man must work together to stop him. If you want to find out how they accomplish this you must watch the film.

As for the animation, it seems a bit outdated, but still great. It was amazing to see how producers were able to bring characters to life. The idea of the story is brilliant and the script has a bunch of action scenes. It could probably use a bit more interaction between main characters, but otherwise the story kept me at edge of my seat. The voice actors are excellent.

My favorite scene is when Hulk and Iron Man first meet. They get into a fight and Hulk wins. This is the first scene with both of them and it’s very funny.

This movie has a bit of action so I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I give it 4 out of 5 stars because of the few minor items. Definitely, this is a film that is worth watching.

Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions

 

 

Bake with coconut oil this holiday season! Healthy alternative to butter and other oils this upcoming New Year!

Coconut oil is popping up everywhere these days — Food & Wine even posted an article about it last week.  LouAna Coconut Oil contains zero trans-fat and no cholesterol and is easy to swap in instead of butter in all your holiday recipes . To help you make the switch, LouAna has created signature recipes for wintertime favorites featuring its Pure Coconut Oil, such as Classic Pecan Pie with Pecan Nut CrustRustic Cranberry-Apple Cobbler, and Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits.
While coconut oil is wonderful oil for baking because of its high smoke point, it’s also great for sautéing veggies, or even for swirling into your morning oatmeal. We had the opportunity to receive the LouAna Coconut Oil and loved the light flavor and that it gives a healthier twist to many recipes! LouAna Pure Coconut Oil contains zero trans-fat, is vegan, non-GMO, and adds wonderful texture to flaky baked dishes like pies,tarts, and biscuits. Here is one of my favorite recipes below:

Winter Vegetarian Chili

There’s nothing better than a bowl of hot chili on a cold day. This one is packed
with veggies, no meat necessary and goes great with Lou Ana Buttermilk Biscuits
made with whole-wheat flour. Adjust the spice to your liking and serve with some
fun toppings such as shredded cheese, avocado, non-fat Greek yogurt and fresh
cilantro.
Serves 8
2 tablespoons 100% Pure Lou Ana Coconut Oil + 1 teaspoon for greasing pan
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 medium celery stalks, diced
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 medium red pepper, chopped
½ jalapeno, seeds removed or spicier chili, leave the seeds
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 15-ounce can low sodium dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Optional garnishes: chopped avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, freshly chopped cilantro and/or fat free plain Greek
yogurt
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Heat oil in 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add
onion, celery and carrot and sauté until softened and onions translucent, 8 to 10
minutes.
2. Add peppers and sauté 2 more minutes. Then add tomato paste, diced tomatoes
with juice, beans, vegetable broth and molasses. Stir to combine. Mix in salt,
oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika and chili powder. Bring to a boil, lower to
medium heat and simmer 45 to 50 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
3. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, place diced sweet potatoes on a greased
baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. Stir sweet
potatoes into cooked chili. Remove pot from heat and let sit for 10 minutes before
serving.
4. Serve in bowls with optional garnishes. Chili tastes delicious reheated the next day.

We have teamed up with LouAna for a New Year Giveaway! One winner will win a container of the Coconut Oil! Just leave a comment below telling us a healthy tip for the New Year! Deadline to enter is January 2nd, 2014! One winner will randomly be selected from all entries!

Self Disclosure: I received a sample to facilitate this feature. Recipe provided by LouAna Oils.

 

The Classic Tale of Walter Mitty Remade with A Fabulous Cast KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions, www.kidsfirst.org

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Walter Mitty is a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job is threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. As KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O. says, “It has some comedy, a few pretty cool action scenes, romance and adventures. But, if you are expecting the usual funny and light Ben Stiller movie – this is not it.” See Gerry’s full review below.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Video review available here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OZ6ChuSuik

This is a very clever remake of 1947 movie and will satisfy all your expectations from a good story line to a great cast. I mean, how you can not appreciate the genius of Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig.

This movie has so many positive things to like. It has some comedy, a few pretty cool action scenes, romance and adventures. But, if you are expecting the usual funny and light Ben Stiller movie – this is not it. This film is full of mixed emotions, unfulfilled desires and is a bit philosophical.

The adventure begins with showing a guy that has been working for the same magazine for many years and dreams about traveling and experiencing different adventures. He even sometimes daydreams about being a hero or a worldly traveler. This man is Walter Mitty. He also finds a girl of his dreams and desperately tries to impress her. Then, something unexpected happens causing him to leave his comfortable life to try to save his job, his new friendship and his reputation.

My favorite scene is when Walter is traveling by foot in Afghanistan and gets a pass to a specific area of the mountains by offering local guards his mother’s cake. I just think that was the most heartfelt scene in the movie and showed how a mother’s love is truly international even when it comes in a shape of a cake.

The movie is done well. I expected it to have a bit more action scenes but there are very few. Nevertheless, all exciting moments in the film are done so well and the graphics are amazing. Since Walter Mitty demonstrates amazing talent on a skate board, I predict that sales of skate boards after the movie comes out will go up.

This movie is a bit mature and may not be too interesting for younger kids. Therefore, I recommend it for ages 10 to 18. I also easily give it 4 out of 5 stars

Gerry Orz, age 11, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

 

It’s almost the New Year! Solutions for the most popular resolutions!

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Caffeine-addicted, it’s not easy fete to give up coffee. Get your coffee fix with the nyakio Kenyan Coffee Collection,which contains Kenyan Coffee to naturally energize and exfoliate skin. The collection contains a perfectly-balanced face polish and body scrub that reveal fresh, more youthful-looking skin and provide antioxidant benefits.

 

Read More Books: Make reading easy with a membership to Scribd, an eBook subscription service featuring more than 100,000 books, including bestselling and new release titles. For only $8.99/month, Scribd is available across all Apple and Android phones, tablets and laptop/desktop computers.

 

Rock a New look: Try the Infiniti Pro by Conair Curl Secret – even the curling iron novice can create sexy, glamorous curls that will turn heads.  The Curl Secret automatically draws hair into its curl chamber, heats it from all sides, and beeps to let you know when to release the perfect, bouncy, long-lasting curl.  No more burns with an exposed heat element, no more struggling to wrap hair around a barrel, the Curl Secret does the work for you.

 

Save Money: Never pay retail or clip a coupon again!  Download Shopular, a free app that automatically pushes relevant deals to your device as soon as you walk into your favorite retailer or mall, at over 40,000 locations around the country.  Shopular’s database contains popular stores, including Lord and Taylor, Home Depot, Sephora, and CVS among others, addressing all of your shopping needs at a discount.

 

Keep in touch more: With Skype, it’s easy to stay in touch with friends and family throughout the year. Unlimited worldwide calling, group video calls and screen sharing make connecting with loved ones every day easy and inexpensive.

 

Commit to a new fitness regimen: From comfortable and fashionable work out gear to the latest workout DVDs and equipment, OpenSky.com is a social shopping marketplace that helps people discover, buy and share unique goods that match their individual taste. By connecting merchants to buyers in the only marketplace powered by social connections, users can connect to friends and merchants directly.

 

Give up Sweets: Indulge in sweets without the calories with Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée collection. Inspired by the aromas of French Patisseries, Laura Mercier created this seductive, warm and comforting blend of gourmande ingredients. This collection includes succulent notes of warm caramel, spun sugar and French vanilla bean for a sensual and enchanting experience.

Credit: Thanks to our friends at Laura Mercier and nyakio for this feature!

Turbo F.A.S.T. – A Turbo Charged Series For The Sports Fans In Your House KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions, www.kidsfirst.org

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The first ever Netflix original series for kids: Dreamworks Animations’ “Turbo FAST” (Fast Action Stunt Team) will be released on December 24 and is worthy of your attention. Filled with outrageous comedy, action and laugh out loud fun, this series is available only on Netflix.

About the series: Turbo FAST Home base is the Los Angeles microcosm StarlightCity, complete with a customized racetrack to practice their moves. Thanks to Smoove Move, this souped-up posse grooves to a global beat and travels far and wide to take on villains from all over the world.  With their tricked-out shells in tow, the team attempts outrageous stunts, races on the coolest tracks and takes on the craziest challengers, including masked Mexican lizards, surfer cockroaches and giant Sumo snails. No matter how wild things get, the Fast Action Stunt Team always has each other’s backs. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O has this to say about the series, “The animation is very different then the animation style in the movie. It’s more cartoonish and cuter too!” See  Gerry’s review below.

Turbo F.A.S.T.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Video review available here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCovI_-IxHE

Red Carpet coverage by Gerry O and Keefer B here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1k9ivdxtww

I was very surprised to see what came out of this show. I thought this would be a bit too much like the movie with Turbo racing non-stop against other foes. I’m happy to say that my prediction was not entirely correct.

This series sort of continues the story from the feature film and allows us to reunite with the characters we all fell in love with when Turbo, the movie came out. It has comedy, friendship, action, adventure, and of course adorable and fast snails!

The first episode of the series begins when Turbo comes back from touring the world. He comes back to discover a newly built city for snails and also a new race track. It’s a nice surprise for Turbo and his friends until the city gets captured. Turbo has to race to save his city. If you would like to know who he is racing and what happens, you have tune in to Netflix and watch the series.

The animation is very different then the animation style in the movie. It’s more cartoonish and cuter too. I love it and also the script is formatted for more, well – real jokes, which I absolutely love. Some voice actors changed but it doesn’t impact the quality of the production. It is all together amazing.

My favorite scene is when this creature introduces him and he says, “I’m the fastest creature on Earth.” Well, the snails say, “well, what about a cheetah? What about a grass hopper riding a cheetah?” Then, Chet (Turbo’s brother) looks it up. It’s very funny and a great way to start off the series.

This is a first time Netflix and DreamWorks collaborated to do something creative and this new union definitely works. I predict we will see a lot of great things coming out of this partnership

Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions

Jules Enchanting Gifts and Collectables Pretty Tools LED Flashlights are pretty and powerful!

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Looking for really cute gift ideas? Jules Enchanting Gifts and Collectables has the cutest items! You can find anything from Angels to Wind Chimes but my favorite are the Pretty Tools LED Flashlights! They are small, pretty and the best thing…pretty powerful! They are only 3.5″ long but are brighter than many larger flashlights. I received a really pretty Paisley Prints one and it is perfect to leave on my nightstand or put in my purse! They are also available in Plaid Prints, Floral Prints, Damask Prints, Floral Prints, Safari Prints, Camo Prints, and Fine Art Prints! They are affordable too! They only cost $7.95 each and the 3 AAA batteries are included! At this price, you may want to pick up more than one! These would make the perfect stocking stuffers but they are also just perfect for the New Year! Find these and many other wonderful products on the website!

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Self Disclosure: I received a free Flashlight to feature and facilitate this review but any opinions are my own. Photo Credit: Jules Enchanting Gifts and Collectables.