Archives for September 11, 2014

My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales A Clever and Amusing Collection of Halloween-themed stories


My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales is a sure hit with fans of the franchise. It’s collection of spooky tales includes Boast Busters, Stare Master, Luna Eclipsed, Sleepless in Ponyville, Castle Mane-ia and Bats! And, there’s a sing-along. Your younger kids, as well as older fans will find this collection a charming addition to fall and Halloween stories. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kendyl P (age 12) comments, “This series is a Halloween/spooky edition, but don’t worry it is not scary at all, but there are a few really great lessons in each series.” See her full review below.


My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales

By Kendyl P.ll, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12


My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales is a clever and amusing collection.  This exciting and adventurous DVD is comprised of six episodes and a bonus sing-along. When you watch this DVD it surely makes you smile with great delight.


This series is a Halloween/spooky edition, but don’t worry it is not scary at all, but there are a few really great lessons in each series.


My favorite episode is Boast Buster. It is really interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The Boast Buster episode teaches you a really impressive lesson, which is do not boast or brag instead remain humble. If you have a special talent or, if you learned how to do a really cool trick, do not use your talent to make others feel bad.  Another lesson you will glean from this particular episode is to have an admirable spirit and use your special talents for good and not just to show off or brag that you are better than others.


My favorite character is Apple Jack, who is very enthusiastic, gracious and good-natured. Everyone loves her. She has a very unique southern accent that brings a new style to the My Little Pony series.


The voiceover actors Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball and Andréa Libman are simply stupendous at making each pony unique and special.


My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic:  Spooktacular Pony Tales is definitely an entertaining series that you will not want to miss. I recommend this DVD series for ages 5 to 12, probably more to girls than boys but, who knows. And, I give it 5 out of 5 shining stars. This DVD will be in stores September 9, 2014 so go check it out.



Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,

Dolphin Tale 2 – Based on a True Story with Lessons about Friendship and Hope KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,


In this sequel to the popular film, Dolphin Tale which follows the rescue and recovery of the beloved dolphin Winter, young Sawyer Nelson and the dedicated team at the Clearwater Marine Hospital face another crisis when her surrogate mother, the elderly Panama, passes away. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “I love this film! It is a fun and heartwarming movie that I think families will love too.” Samantha A., age 11 adds, “Dolphin Tail 2 is a movie based on a true story that teaches you about friendship, to NEVER give up and ALWAYS HAVE HOPE – literally. See their full reviews below.  And, check out Gerry O’s coverage from the World Premiere below!

Dolphin Tale 2

By Katherine S, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9


I love this film! It is a fun and heartwarming movie that I think families will love too.  It is a sequel to the original Dolphin Tale, where Winter, a stranded dolphin was injured and a team of people care for and give her a prosthetic tail. It is now three years later and Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff return as Sawyer and Hazel along with star studded cast of Morgan Freeman as the Doctor, Ashley Judd as Hazel’s mom, Harry Connick Jr. and Kris Kristoferson as Sawyer’s dad and grandfather. This time, Winter’s mother dies and the team needs to find her a new companion or they will lose her to another aquarium.  Soon, they get a call about a new dolphin they are thinking of putting her with. Now the question is will it work out?


Sawyer is also faced with an opportunity of a lifetime, but he struggles with the decision to stay and care for Winter or, go on a new adventure.


My favorite part is when Sawyer swims in the tank with Winter and the real Bethanie Hamilton, who quest appears as herself. I also love when they rescue Mandy, another hurt dolphin and potential companion for Winter. And, the Pelican provides great comic relief – it is especially funny when they are x-raying a rescued sea turtle and the pelican goes crazy!


My favorite character is Sawyer who does an amazing job in this film, showing a range of emotions – looking worried, happy and confused as he faces tough decisions for Winter and for his future.


The sets in the film are spectacular – at both the ocean and inside the aquarium.  The Cinematography by Daryn Okada is awesome, especially the underwater photography.


One of the main messages in this film is “to never give up.”  Another is that “Change is good. But, to experience new things, sometimes you have to leave old things behind.”


Dolphin Tale 2 is a great family film. I recommend it for both boys and girls ages 6 to 18 but, adults will love it too because, who doesn’t love dolphins?  I rate this 5 out of 5 stars.


Be sure to check out Dolphin Tale 2 which will be in theaters nationwide on September 12.  Reviewed by Katherine Starr, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9.


Dolphin Tale 2

Reviewed by Samantha A, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11



Dolphin Tail 2 is a movie based on a true story that teaches you about friendship, to never give up and always have hope – literally. In this sequel to the first movie, Dolphin Tale,the Clearwater Rescue Team bands together because of a tragedy that involved the death of Winter’s best friend Panama, which leaves Winter without the only pool mate she has ever known. Winter goes in deep depression and the clock is ticking. They need to pair Winter with another dolphin fast.


Dolphin Tale 2 is one of those movies that might not catch your eye because it doesn’t appeal to you, or it just doesn’t look like much but trust me, I thought the same thing and this movie changed my mind fast. It’s one of my favorite movies now because it’s so much more than just an average movie about a dolphin that needs help. It’s also an educational, feel-good movie. And, it has messages about companionship and love, about never giving up and about exploring new possibilities. This movie is not only fantastic, it is also hilarious, mostly because of a crazy pelican that flies in and out of the aquarium and does unpredictable and wild things. For example, it steals food from unsuspecting visitors and stands guard over a wounded turtle that was found in wrapped in fishing line.


I was really excited to see the Dolphin Tale 2 because the first one was so good. It is really fun seeing what happened to Winter and everybody at Clearwater Aquarium. This movie isn’t just heartwarming and fun, it is also such an emotional roller coaster when something unexpected happens (which is often).  My eyes were glued to the screen. I learned that dolphins have feelings to and, as Sawyer says “That’s not a bad thing”.


Dolphin Tale 2 is a phenomenal film. I would give it 4 out of 5 golden stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18 because some scenes are a little mature and might be scary for any kids under 7.


This movie is great and I think you should drop everything go to your local movie theatre (possibly bring a box of tissues) to see it because it is amazing!

Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,

DJ Slims for the whole family! Amazing wireless headphones!

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Are you tired of headphones with wires? I know that my soon to be 11-year-old son loves headphones but hates being plugged in so I was quite excited to learn about the DJ Slims sold by  Outdoor Tech. Finally wireless headphones with super comfortable ear pads! Great sound and even a built-in Mic for talking on the phone or Skype! Now, how cool is that?! I received these to try out and am amazed by the great clear sound. I so wish I could keep these for myself but my son has an upcoming birthday and he will absolutely LOVE these! They really are perfect for everyone in the family! They are available in Blue, Black or White and retail for $69.95.

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Like I said…prefect for everyone in the family!

Self Disclosure: I received a free pair of DJ Slims to facilitate this feature but any opinions expressed are my own. Photo Credit: Outdoor Tech.

Head Back to School Safely with Master Lock!

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The school year is officially here, and Master Lock has everything you could need to ensure that you are prepared by providing products that will help keep students belongings secure while at school. I received the Set-Your-Own Combination Lock and one of the Precision Dial locks and they really work well! My favorite is the Set-Your-Own Combination Lock because it is so easy to use and great for students who want to make up their own combination.These combination locks are ideal for students who prefer to create combinations in the form of words, initials, acronyms, or numbers. These Set-Your-Own Combination Locks offer more than 10,000 combinations, are easy to set and reset, and retail for $7.99. The Precision Dial is perfect for those who are used to the traditional rotary dial but you can also make up your own combination. Now, how cool is that?! It also retails for $7.99. Check out the website for more information!

We have teamed up with Master Lock for a Back-to-School Giveaway! One winner will win a Precision Dial Lock and a Set-Your-Own Combination Lock! To enter, leave a comment below telling us your child’s favorite thing about going back to school! Deadline to enter is September 17, 2014 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected via

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

Easy Everyday Slow Cooker Recipes by Donna-Marie Pye A Mom-Must-Have for Back-to-School time!


Let’s face it…back-to-school time is more hectic! We homeschool and although I am quite happy with that choice, it does leave me more tired by the end of the day! Yes, I am already missing those lazy summer beach days. But, my slow-cooker is a great thing to have! Especially in the Fall! I received a great cook book called Easy Everyday Slow Cooker Recipes by Donna-Marie Pye and I love this gorgeous, full-color book! It has more than 80 photographs and 200 recipes! I love that it features the best of North American regional cuisine and globally inspired dishes, representing cultures from around the world.

Some of my favorite recipes in the book are the Soup and Chili recipes. The Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup (on page 42) is delicious and the Holy Mole Chili is too good for words! (pg. 86). I can’t wait to try all the other recipes in this book!

Here’s the Holy Mole Chili recipe!


Courtesy of Easy Everyday Slow Cooker Recipes by Donna-Marie Pye, 2014 © Reprinted with publisher permission.

Holy Mole Chili, page 86, vegetarian

Makes 4 to 6 servings

With its notes of cumin, cinnamon and chocolate playing off the gentle spices, this meatless chili combines the best of a mole sauce and a Cincinnati-style chili. Its rich body makes it a seriously satisfying dinner any night of the week.

  • Minimum 4-quart slow cooker

4  cloves garlic, minced          4

1  large green bell pepper, diced       1

1  onion, finely chopped         1

1  can (19 oz/540 mL) diced tomatoes, with juice     1

1  can (14 oz/398 mL) baked beans   1
in tomato sauce

2 cups  cooked or canned romano or pinto beans     500 mL
(see page 84), drained and rinsed

2 cups  cooked or canned black beans           500 mL
(see page 84), drained and rinsed

1 tbsp  chili powder    15 mL

2 tsp    ground cumin  10 mL

2 tsp    ground coriander        10 mL

1⁄4 cupmole paste (see tip, at left)    60 mL

1⁄2 cupvegetable or chicken broth     125 mL

Crushed tortilla chips, chopped fresh cilantro, shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

  1. In slow cooker stoneware, combine garlic, green pepper, onion, tomatoes with juice, beans in tomato sauce, romano beans, black beans, chili powder, cumin and coriander.
  2. In a bowl, combine mole paste and broth. Using a fork, gently stir together into a thin sauce. Stir into bean mixture.
  3. Cover and cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours or on High for 21⁄2 to 3 hours, until vegetables are tender and chili is bubbling. Serve topped with tortilla chips, cilantro and cheese (if using).

Make Ahead

This dish can be assembled up to 12 hours in advance. Prepare through step 2, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, place stoneware in slow cooker and proceed with step 3.



If you can’t find mole paste, substitute 1 tbsp (15 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder and 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon.


Note: Mole paste is a rich, dark, reddish brown sauce used in many Mexican poultry dishes. It is a smooth cooked blend of onions, garlic, several varieties of chiles, ground seeds (such as pumpkin or sesame) and a small amount of Mexican chocolate, which adds richness without being overly sweet. You can find mole paste in the Mexican foods section of the supermarket or in specialty stores.

For more information and to purchase the book, go to   You can also purchase on Amazon!

Self Disclosure: I received a free book to facilitate this feature. Photo/Recipe credit is stated above.