Archives for November 26, 2014

Wonder Forge has NEW Games for the Holiday! Great Gift Suggestions! Giveaway Opportunity!

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Wonder Forge’s award-winning games are sure to please everyone on your list—with enduring play value that keep kids coming back for more fun throughout the whole year.

We received the following two games:

Star Wars™ Force Grab Game – A fast-action family party game that will challenge everyone…even those strong in the force.
Age 8+
$16.99
Star Wars™ Rebel Missions Game –  A fast-paced family strategy game where teamwork and tactics are put to the test!
Age 7+
$19.99
If you have Star Wars Fans, these two games will be a hit! Our personal favorite is the Star Wars Rebel Missions Game. Teamwork is a real must and this is such a fun way to encourage teamwork and thinking!
Other games available from Wonder Forge this Holiday Season:
Pictopia: Disney Edition Trivia Game – The Ultimate Picture Trivia Family Game!
Age 6+
$19.99
Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Pet Salon Game – Spend a day at the spa with your pawfect companions!Ga
Age 3+
$19.99
Disney Jr Super Stretchy Game – The twisty, turny, see what you can do, game!
Age 3+
$16.99
Disney Frozen Surprise Slides™ Game – A surprise-filled race to Elsa’s Ice palace!
Age 3+
$11.99
Ultimate Spider-Man™ Trickshot Duel™ Game – Take out your opponents in this fast-paced disc-shooting game!
Age 4+
$19.99
Disney Frozen 6-in-1 Game – A fun game of picture-matching!
Age 3+
$16.99
Dr. Seuss™ Charades Game – The silly pretend-play game!
Age 3+
$19.99
Star Wars™ Face Off Dice Game – It’s an action-packed bluff ’n’ battle dice game of Jedi™ versus Sith™!
Age 8+
$11.99
Great Holiday gift suggestions for the kids this holiday season!
We have teamed up for a Holiday Giveaway! One winner will win both of the Star Wars games mentioned above! To enter let us know which one you are most excited to play or think your kids would be most excited about! Deadline to enter is December4th, 2014 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected from all entries.
Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this holiday feature. Photo Credit: Wonder Forge.

Holiday Gift Guide for Readers! Check out these great suggestions!

Looking for gifts for Readers? These are some of my favorites!

FOR THE BOOK LOVER:

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Scribd

Why give one book when you can give them a library filled with 500,000 ebooks and 30,000 audiobooks with a gift card to Scribd – the Netflix for books! The book lover in your life will be able to read or listen to as many books as they want – including New York Times bestsellers and popular celebrity memoirs – across all of their devices!

I received a 3-month free trial and I just love this! Instant access to more than 500,000 ebooks  and 30,000 audiobooks! What else can I say?  This is just the BEST thing for a reader like me!   I am really enjoying this on my Kindle! 

It’s the largest selection of all-you-can-read and all-you-can-listen content from the world’s leading publishers and Scribd can be accessed on nearly any device: iOS, Android, web, Nook and Kindle Fire.

 

Price: $8.99/month (Gift cards: $25/3 months, $50/6 months, $99/12 months)

Available: Scribd.com

Next is our Holiday Gift Guide for Young Readers!

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My Yellow Balloon
Ages 4-9, Oct 2014, Minoan Moon Publishing, $18.99, www.myyellowballoon.com
With illustrations by former DreamWorks “Shrek” artist, this already award-winning hardcover book follows a little boy who loses his best friend: a bright yellow balloon. It gives kids courage to experience loss (from a move or a new school to a lost pet or family member) and a language for understanding change. Just like Oh, The Places You’ll Go! is the book for graduation, My Yellow Balloon is for anyone in tough times.

I love how this one gives kids courage! This is a Must-Read for all children ages 4-9.

This Is the Greatest Place

This is the Greatest Place!
Ages 5-9, Oct 2014, China Institute/ Tuttle Publishing, $12.95, www.walfc.org
Created by internationally renowned children’s book artists, this book teaches uses one of the world’s most fascinating landmarks, Beijing’s Forbidden City, to show young readers how nature’s influence can be seen around us, and how people and animals can live together in harmony. Features a gatefold spread and lift-flaps.

This is a beautifully illustrated book about such a great landmark! My son and I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it as a holiday gift!

In The Forbidden City

In the Forbidden City
Ages 9+, Oct 2014, China Institute/ Tuttle Publishing, $19.95, www.walfc.org
Similar to David Macaulay’s Castle, highly detailed line drawings convey the grandeur of Beijing’s Forbidden City buildings, gardens, and courtyards. This large format impressive book is part of We All Live in the Forbidden City, a dynamic educational program by China Institute about the history, culture, architecture, and life of imperial China as seen through the lens of the Forbidden City.

I love this book and actually haven’t shown it to my son because he loves landmarks and architecture so I am putting this one up myself as a holiday gift! I highly recommend as a Holiday gift for the older kids ages 9+.

The Principle Gange Book 1 The Principle Gang Book 2

The Principle Gang series
Ages 4-11, The Dugi Group, $14.95 each, www.theprinciplegang.com
Book 1: Don’t Judge a Lizard by His Scales (Aug 2014)
Book 2: Wizard Lizard Rides the Subway (Oct 2014)
There are No Bullies Allowed in The Principle Gang, a new 6-book series that teaches three important anti-bullying lessons: 1) Don’t be mean, 2) Tell your teacher, and 3) Be a friend. Questions at the end of each book encourage kids, parents and caregivers to engage in thought-provoking conversations about family, friendship, community and fairness.

I like these two books because it is a creative series with important lessons for kids. I also love that there are questions at the end of the book to encourage important discussions.

Self Disclosure: I received free products to facilitate this Holiday feature.

Charmazing to “Charm” Young Fashionistas Nationwide This Holiday Season! Holiday Gift Suggestion!

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Wooky Entertainment Adds More ‘Charm’ to Fashion Jewelry Craft Line with New Charmazing Collection – Available Exclusively at Toys“R”Us®

Trendsetters can activate their “charma” with the all-newCharmazing by Style Me Up!® collection from Wooky Entertainment, the international creativity products leader known for its best-selling Style Me Up! range of fashion-forward activity sets for tweens. Available exclusively at Toys“R”Us® stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.combeginning October 15, Charmazing offers young designers the chance to create custom charm bracelets, which they can wear, share and gift. Additionally, kids can scan their Charmazing charms into a virtual Charmazing world where they can trade with friends and connect with other fashionistas via an inventive new app.

 

Charmazing is all about providing kids and tweens with the tools they need to create and define beauty and style for themselves,” said Christina Sklavenitis, VP, Marketing and Licensing, Wooky Entertainment. “With our new Charmazing collection we’ve developed a world filled with positive messages designed to inspire and empower girls to be creative in their own unique way.”

 

“Since we first saw Wooky Entertainment’s newest creations, we’ve been absolutely ‘charmed’ and are pleased to offer the collection exclusively in our stores,” said Jamie Uitdenhowen, Vice President, General Merchandising Manager, Learning and Seasonal, Toys“R”Us, U.S. “Since we anticipate the Charmazing line will be highly sought after during the Christmas shopping season, it was named to our 2014 Toys“R”Us Holiday Hot Toy List and we foresee many fun bracelet making sessions in the future.”

 

Charmazing provides tweens with more than 100 different charms in 11 unique themed collections categorized in two worlds, Karma (positive energy) and Nature (powerful energy). Among the must-have new creativity-inspiring kits in the debut Charmazing! collection for ages 8-12 are:

 

  • Charmazing Let’s Get Started – Creativity starts here with this set that comes in 5 different collections, enabling designers to personalize their bracelets according to these themes: Wildlife, Seaside, Lucky, Heart, and Emoji.
  • Charmazing Charmastation – A unique bracelet workstation that keeps individual bracelets secure so charmasters can work their creative magic. Additionally, there’s a storage compartment to neatly stow and organize materials.
  • Charmazing Color Me Up! – There is a rainbow of customizable options from 3 inspiring themed collections: Seaside, Seasons and Heart. Each features 6 charms, energy cards and beads.
  • Charmazing Deluxe Kit – This complete set comes in both Karma and Nature World themes,enabling tweens to design 6 unique bracelets. Also included is the Charmastation bracelet working station, thread, beads, and chains.

 

In addition to the exciting new creativity sets, the Charmazing digital world for smartphones and tablets further engages kids in original ways that complement and enhance their Charmazingexperience. The free Charmazing app will be available for download from the Apple® App Store and Google Play beginning October 15 to coincide with the product launch.

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We had our Guest Reviewer Raya try out this product for us and this is what she said: “It is a good product but, the bracelet locks are hard to use and some small beads wouldn’t fit onto the bracelet. I’m excited to try the app and I would love to use this for myself and a gift.”

We recommend as a Holiday Gift suggestion for ages 8+ this holiday season!

For more on Charmazing by Style Me Up! visit www.charmazing.com, Toysrus.com

 

About Wooky Entertainment Inc.

Wooky Entertainment is a Montreal-based brand development company that produces and distributes high-quality, trend-right product worldwide. The company’s portfolio includes six standout brands for boys and girls of all ages: Style Me Up!®, Block Crayon,  Bloco, Mathable®, Artzooka!, and Design Masters. Wooky Entertainment aims for excellence in creativity and design. The company’s goal is to present the latest, freshest, most fashion-forward innovations for everyone! For more information visit http://www.wookyentertainment.com.

 

Self Disclosure: We received a free product to facilitate this Holiday Gift suggestion. Photo Credit: Julie and Raya W. Stay tuned! Raya will be reviewing another Holiday gift suggestion for us soon!

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Skipper, the Aquarium’s baby penguin named after a Penguins of Madagascar film character

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Around Thanksgiving, people watching the new Penguins of Madagascar animated film can also see a special penguin at the Aquarium named after one of the film’s characters—Skipper! The public is invited to visit the Aquarium to learn about penguins at the June Keyes Penguin Habitat while visiting Skipper.

The Aquarium of the Pacific in partnership with Penguins of Madagascar has named a penguin chick after the movie’s main character

WHAT:           One of the four Magellanic Penguin chicks born at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach has officially been named Skipper. Skipper was named after one of the main penguin characters from the upcoming DreamWorks Animation/20th Century Fox animated film Penguins of Madagascar. Tom McGrath, who voices Skipper in the film, honored his namesake at a special naming ceremony held at the Aquarium earlier this month ahead of the film’s November 26th release date.

 

Skipper was born to parents Roxy and Floyd at the Aquarium over the summer. Both parents have an interesting background, as Floyd came to the Aquarium after living in the Bay Area, while Roxy was rescued from a beach in Brazil, far north of her species’ native habitat in the southern areas of South America. Guests can now see Skipper and the three other penguin chicks born at the Aquarium at the June Keyes Penguin Habitat. They’ll also be able to see his parents as well as Anderson and Heidi, Skipper’s brother and sister who were born in 2013. In addition to seeing Skipper and his family at the Aquarium, you can also look for him on the Aquarium’s live penguin cams at http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/exhibits/webcams/.

 

Native to Argentina and Chile, this penguin species prefers a more temperate climate such as that of Southern California than their Antarctic-dwelling cousins. Magellanic Penguin chicks hatch with their eyes closed and are able to open them about a week later. After about ninety days the chicks fledge, losing their downy newborn feathers, which are replaced with watertight, sub-adult feathers.

 

WHEN:           Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

 

WHERE:         Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

 

COST:            General admission: $28.95 for adults 12+, $25.95 for seniors 62+, $14.95 per child (ages 3-11), and free to Aquarium members and children under age three.

PUBLIC

INFO:              562-590-3100 or http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/exhibits/penguin_habitat

 

Thanksgiving time is the perfect time to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific! My son and I just love visiting there! We had the opportunity to visit this past week and can’t wait to go back! I think that we could watch the Sea Lions and Harbor Seals all day and the Penguins are a personal favorite of mine!

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AQUARIUM:  The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important topics facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, and the interactive Shark Lagoon and Lorikeet Forest exhibits. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists.

Self Disclosure: We received media comps to feature the Aquarium of the Pacific but it really is a favorite of mine.

 

generationOn Seeks to Ignite the Power of Giving Back in Kids, Teens, Families and Schools Nationwide Youth & Family Service Projects Take Spotlight with Campaigns Sponsored by Hasbro, Inc. and Disney Friends for Change

generationOn And Disney Friends For Change Inspire Kids & Teens To Come Together In Service For Family Volunteer Day At Travel Town Museum     459425550

With its mission to inspire, equip, and mobilize a nationwide network of kids and teen volunteers this holiday season, generationOn kicked off its two signature campaigns Monday, November 10, 2014 to provide youth, families and schools with easy and meaningful ways to give back to their communities.

The campaigns – The Joy Maker Challenge and Family Volunteer Day – offer welcome respites from the end-of-year crush of social, work and school obligations, while enabling participants to contribute to and connect with the true spirit of the holiday season.

“One of the big ironies of the holiday season is that although it is often thought of as ‘family time,’ in reality it is the busiest time of the year, and meaningful connections often get lost in the shuffle,” said Daniel Horgan, generationOn Executive Director. “Volunteering during the holidays is the perfect way to spend time together while participating in activities that enhance and benefit our communities. generationOn makes it easier than ever this year to get youth, families and schools motivated and engaged.”

Since launching in 2010, generationOn – the youth and family division of Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service – has been committed to making volunteering as easy and accessible as possible. By partnering with teachers, parents, schools, community organizations and businesses, generationOn gives kids and teens the inspiration, opportunities, tools and resources to positively impact their neighborhoods and become part of the solution.

“Your child can learn from a young age how to appreciate the things they have and the importance of helping those who are less fortunate,” said parenting expert and generationOn partner Dr. Michele Borba. “Starting a tradition of coming together as a family and helping people in need in your community is very important, as children learn values and behaviors by watching their parents’ actions.”

With its holiday volunteer campaigns that launched Monday, November 10, 2014 generationOn provides immediate opportunities to get involved.

The Joy Maker Challenge Engages Tens of Thousands of Youth in Service

For the fifth year in a row, generationOn is proud to partner with Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) for The Joy Maker Challenge, a campaign that connects students in grades K-12 to meaningful, hands-on service projects during the holiday season. For each action a child or teen takes to help others as part of The Joy Maker Challenge, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots, up to one million dollars’ worth.

 

 From November 10 through December 10, 2014, students and teachers can sign up for The Joy Maker Challenge through www.generationon.org/joymaker. They can get project ideas, download a service project planning tool kit and submit their service impact stories via the website for the chance to win prizes. Twenty schools will receive a $250 grant to support continued service in their community. One grand prize-winning school will receive a $1,000 grant to support continued service, a special holiday party package, and $10,000 worth of toys and games that can be used to bring joy to kids in need in their own community.

“At Hasbro, we believe all children, regardless of their age, have the ability to change the world,” said Karen Davis, SVP of Global Philanthropy & Social Impact at Hasbro, Inc.  “For five years now, The Joy Maker Challenge and generationOn have engaged hundreds of thousands of youth worldwide to spread joy during the holiday season and the entire Hasbro family is once again proud to help extend this amazing work by making a donation to Toys for Tots.”

Call for Families to Come Together for Service

During this season of giving, Family Volunteer Day celebrates 24 years of tapping into the power of families to positively impact their neighborhoods, communities and the world. Disney Friends for Change, a global initiative that inspires kids and families to take action, and generationOn once again join to invite families of all kinds to come together on November 22, 2014 for a day of service. Activities can range from local clean-up projects to providing Thanksgiving meals for others in need to making cards for children in the hospital.

Families are encouraged to share their story at www.generationon.org/fvd for a chance to win one of twenty “family night out” prize packages, and ten families with amazing service impact stories will be selected for inclusion in a fall issue of FamilyFun Magazine.

“Coming together and volunteering as a family shows kids first-hand how even one act of caring can make a real difference in someone else’s life,” said Mike Strautmanis, vice president of Strategic Programs, Corporate Citizenship at Disney. “Disney is proud to continue our sponsorship of Family Volunteer Day to inspire kids and families to develop a lifelong love of service and share in our commitment to creating a brighter tomorrow.”

 

generationOn

generationOn is the youth and family service division of Points of Light, igniting the power of kids, teens and families to make their mark on the world. generationOn inspires, equips and mobilizes hundreds of thousands of kids and teens annually to take action through service, service learning and youth leadership initiatives. It also provides tools and resources to kids, teens, families, youth practitioners and educators to help kids change the world and themselves through service. For more information, visit www.generationon.org.

Points of Light
Points of Light – the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it matters most. For more information, go to pointsoflight.org.

 

About Hasbro

Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company dedicated to fulfilling the fundamental need for play for children and families through the creative expression of the Company’s world class brand portfolio, including TRANSFORMERS, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, NERF and LITTLEST PET SHOP. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with innovative play and entertainment experiences, in a variety of forms and formats, anytime and anywhere.  The Company’s Hasbro Studios is responsible for entertainment brand-driven storytelling around Hasbro brands across television, film, commercial productions and short-form.  Through the company’s deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named to the Civic 50 as one of the “Most Community-Minded Companies” and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens.” Learn more at www.hasbro.com.

 

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Being a good corporate citizen is a time-honored Disney tradition. Through contributions, collaborations with local organizations, in-kind gifts and volunteering, Disney helps to brighten the lives of kids and families in need and strengthen communities around the world. In 2013, the Company donated nearly $370 million in cash, in-kind support and products, and Disney VoluntEARS gave over 667,000 hours of service. For more information visit the waltdisneycompany.com/citizenship or @CitizenDisney.

Credit: generationOn, Walt Disney Company, Hasbro and Points of Light.

 

 

#GivingTuesday: Double the Impact with World Vision and Thirty-One Gifts Giveaway Opportunity!

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Take a break from the retail frenzy following Thanksgiving and join with World Vision and Thirty-One Gifts to celebrate generosity during the 3rd annual #GivingTuesday onDec. 2, 2014. For the first 3,100 donations made by phone (1-888-511-6588) or online (Worldvision.org) to World Vision on Giving Tuesday, Thirty-One Gifts – a direct-selling company focused on personalized totes, purses, home organization solutions and more – will donate a Hope Kit tote filled with hygiene supplies to a woman or girl in need in the U.S.

On #GivingTuesday every donation made to the Christian humanitarian agency World Vision will make twice the impact by combatting poverty in one of the 100 countries where World Vision works and helping a woman or girl in need in the U.S. get back on her feet with a Hope Kit.  Each kit is filled with essential hygiene supplies such as a toothbrush, shampoo, hairbrush soap and a special note of encouragement.

I received a free Hope Kit  and this really is such a great idea.  My favorite item is the special note of encouragement. This really is a nice gift for a woman or girl in need to receive.

 

Why the Need?

Poverty in America is real and affects millions of vulnerable women and children every day. The Shriver Report on Women in America, released in January, provides a bleak outlook of the financial state of women and children: 1 in 3 American women –  42 million women, plus 28 million children – either live in poverty or are right on the brink of it.

We have teamed up for a giveaway! One winner  receive a personalized Handle-It Cosmetic Bag in Paisley Day, Black Chevron or Plum Chevron from Thirty-One Gifts. To enter, please tell us what you are most thankful for. Deadline to enter is November 30th, 2014 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected from all entries. *US residents only.

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You can also find the World Vision Facebook page at /WorldVision and Twitter at@WorldVisionNews using the hashtags #GiftCatalog and #GivingTuesday.

Since it began in 1996, the World Vision Gift Catalog has grown in popularity as a gift-giving alternative; featuring over 100 ways to improve the lives of children through gifts such as: clean water, food, medicine, education, job training and small business loans, among others. Gifts range in price from $16 to $39,000 and can be made in a loved one’s name.  Last year alone more than 822,000 people were helped through the Catalog.

To order from World Vision’s Gift Catalog, visit www.worldvisiongifts.org or call 855-WV-GIFTS.

Self Disclosure: I received a free Hope Kit tote to facilitate this feature and host this giveaway.