Archives for May 2017

IFME Shoes are a hit for Children this Spring!

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Are you looking for really adorable and comfy shoes for your little one this Spring? IFME has you covered! Their shoes are just too cute! I love the colors and little girls will love them too! I received a pair of Fuchsia/Lavender shoes for a toddler and she just loved them! They really are her favorite new shoes!

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I wish that they made these in my size! They are also very comfortable (my little reviewer told me so!). The shoe collections are fo baby and young children. Check out their shoes here! There is a great variety for both boys and girls.

 

 

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post. 

Twirl Away with Kate & Mim-Mim This Spring!

It’s important to foster imaginative play with your preschoolers – and, with the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to head outdoors to have some creative springtime fun together!

Click on the link below fo fun activity and coloring sheets along with printables sure to get young imaginations “blooming.

Kate &Mim-Mim Springtime Fun

Looking for some fun tips to get out and enjoy Springtime? Click the next link below! It’s important to foster imaginative play with your preschoolers – and, with the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to head outdoors to have some creative springtime fun together!

Kate & Mim-Mim Imagination Tips

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And in more mim-tastic news, a pair of brand-new Kate & Mim-Mim books from Penguin are now available! Here’s more on the new titles:

 

        Make-Believe with Kate & Mim-Mim

This 16-page coloring and activity book is filled with fun puzzles and games – plus adorable stickers and friendship cards – that are sure to have little ones’ imaginations running wild!

 

        Happy Birthday Kate & Mim-Mim

Kate and Mim-Mim celebrate their joint birthdays by planning super-secret surprise parties in the magical land of Mimiloo in this captivating new 24-page picture book!

They are simply delightful books!

Self Disclosure: I received free books to facilitate this post.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – The most other-worldly visual effects of any recent movie.

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Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

By Clayton Pickard, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

 

 

 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and has the most other-worldly visual effects of any recent movie. The CGI is the most mesmerizing piece of treasure throughout the film.  Johnny Depp again stars as Jack Sparrow and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa.  It also stars the terrific Javier Bardem as the new villain, Captain Salazar. Brenton Thwaites plays Henry Turner and Kaya Scodelario plays Carina Smyth.  Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley have cameos as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, respectively. Full disclosure: I am a huge Johnny Depp fan and I have loved the Pirates of the Caribbean movies since I was 5 years old!

 

At the beginning of the film, Captain Jack Sparrow is presumed dead.  He resurfaces in a most humorous way.  Captain Salazar is Jack Sparrow’s oldest nemesis.  He takes revenge on Sparrow by unleashing the vicious ghost pirates of Devil’s Triangle.  The ghost pirates are hell-bent on killing Sparrow and destroy multiple pirate ships in the process. The only way to break the curse is to find and destroy the Trident of Poseidon. Along the way, we learn the background of Will Turner’s son, Henry Turner.  He’s looking for Sparrow and also trying to find the Trident in order to save his father who is trapped in Davy Jones Locker. Carina Smyth is a young astronomer who is also searching for the Trident.  What ensues is a humorous, action packed adventure on the high seas.

 

The special effects and CGI are astoundingly lifelike. The most stunning visual effects in the film are the CGI animated ghost sharks, which are sent to hunt down Jack Sparrow. The movements of the ghost pirates and sharks are hyper-realistic. Out of all the Pirates of The Caribbean films, this one utilizes the most mythological elements. Johnny Depp again aces his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. His interpretation of Jack Sparrow is one of the most entertaining and memorable characters in recent film history. The inimitable Geoffrey Rush is again terrific as Captain Barbossa and Javier Bardem, an acclaimed actor from art house and independent films, is riveting as the vicious Captain Salazar.

 

One flaw of the film is how Keira Knightley suddenly appears for one minute during the movie. It’s the one false note because it seems gratuitous. However, it doesn’t distract from the impact and excitement of the film. Compared to other movie sequels, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales flows surprisingly well and moves along at an exciting pace. The film is appropriate for 10 to 18-year-olds.   I give Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 5 out of 5 stars.  It opens May 26, 2017 in theaters nationwide so be sure to check it out.

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Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

 

Digimon Adventure Tri.: Reunion – Great Animation, Real Fan Pleaser

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It’s been six years since that summer adventure when Taichi and the rest of the DigiDestined crossed over to the Digital World and nearly three years since the final battle between Hikari’s group and BelialVamdemon. And, at some point, while the peaceful days went by, the gate to the Digital World mysteriously closed. But when a Kuwagamon suddenly appears in Odaiba, its rampage leaves the town in ruins, and the people there in turmoil. Taichi chases after it, in an effort to halt its rampage. But there’s nothing he can do against a Kuwagamon. Not by himself. And that’s where a new adventure begins. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tristan T. comments, “), I have to say that the animation in this DVD is really well executed. It is very colorful, vivid and very realistic.” Benjamin P. adds, “My favorite part of this film is the climactic final battle. Seeing the Digidestined fight against one common evil is very epic. This scene feels like it has real stakes to it. I honestly was unsure of what would happen next.” See their full reviews below.

 

Digimon Adventure Tri. – Reunion

 

By Tristan T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, 14 years old

 

 

While I am not a big fan of Digimon (I prefer Pokemon), I have to say that the animation in this DVD is really well executed. It is very colorful, vivid and very realistic. After a slow start, the plot picks up and brings fans right back into the Digital World full of adventure and battles.

 

If you were a fan of the Digimon series in the 1990s and early 2000s, then this is the movie for you. Toei Animation and Shout! Factory have reunited the original characters to produce its first animated feature film.  It has been six years since Tai and the rest of the “DigiDestined” crossed over into the Digital World. The gate remains closed but new adventures await.

 

There is a DVD combo pack option that includes both Japanese and English language versions as well as bonus content. The English dubbing is highly professional. Joshua Seth returns as the voice artist for Tayi Kamiya. He is a well-known voice-over artist, not just for his work on the Digimon series, but multiple other anime and video game projects. My favorite character is Angemon (Dave Mallow).  I really enjoy the way he voices this character, making him sound creative and quirky.

 

Digimon Adventure Tri. – Reunion would not be a good place to start if you are new to Digimon, as it picks up where the series left off many years ago. It is best to have at least some understanding of the back story of the characters and storyline or you will not be able to really grasp what is going on. But the message of working together to achieve a common goal is easy to understand. My favorite scene is when Tai and Angemon stand looking over the cliff. This scene is dramatic and relatable and changes the tone of the film.

 

This is a dramatic, yet lighthearted film reuniting all of the Digimon characters from the original series. I recommend this film for ages 10 to 16 and give this film 3 out of 5 stars.  It is available on DVD, March 16, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

 

Digimon Adventure Tri.: Reunion
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

 

Digimon Adventure Tri.: Reunion is a fun return to the world of Digimon’s Digital Monsters with epic battles and powerful Digimon that should definitely appeal to fans of the original series.

 

Many years have passed since the original show and the characters are now in high school. Tai encounters a strange Digimon that jeopardizes the reputation of the rest of the magical creatures. Tai is reunited with the rest of the Digidestined and they come together with their Digimon to fight against the destructive monsters that Tai encounters. As this threat becomes more hostile, the Digidestined must work together to fight against it.

 

My favorite part of this film is the climactic final battle. Seeing the Digidestined fight against one common evil is very epic. This scene feels like it has real stakes to it. I honestly was unsure of what would happen next. It is a nice pay-off for what the film has been building up to the whole time. The Digimon really let loose and you finally really get to see the grand scale of their powers onscreen in a rewarding way.

 

I do not like the ending to this film. It might catch you off guard with an ending that feels abrupt. You could argue that they chose to end it this way because this film has two other sequels, but I think they could have at least added one more scene.

 

This film is a little confusing. I know little of the Digimon mythos and there is some exposition that I don’t understand. However, this series’ welcoming nature though makes up for that. Even though I do not know the characters, they interact in a way that made me feel as if I knew them already. I mostly credit the voice cast for this. They have never played these characters before or worked together, but it feels as if they’ve known each other for a long time and their chemistry feels very much believable.

 

I give this DVD an age rating of 5 to 14. It’s pretty much for all ages and, if you’re a fan of Digimon, I highly recommend it. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Fans of Digimon will really enjoy it. You can find it now on DVD so, go check it out.

 

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

 

 

Get in the Mood for Summer Camping with The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Camping!

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It’s the first day of summer vacation and The Cat in the Hat whisks Nick, Sally and Fish off on the greatest great outdoor camping adventure ever! Our gang gets back to nature as they hike through the Fickle Fern Forest, camp out overnight, trek over Mt. Weewobble and canoe down the Tickle Drop River… just in time for Fish to meet up with his family for a grand reunion. Along for the ride are Little Cats A, B and C, who discover there’s wonder in nature once their electronic devices are powered off! Nick and Sally help keep the Little Cats out of trouble, while Fish tries to keep his jacket pressed and the mud out of his fancy fishbowl… all while getting up close to some of nature’s most awesome sights, and learning how best to respect them. After being lulled to sleep under the stars by a chorus of animals, the morning brings Everyone agrees it really has been the Greatest Great Outdoors Adventure Ever! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Morgan B. comments, “I absolutely love all the different things I learned about from this DVD! The animation is spot on in this show which brings out a lot of cool stuff.” Denise B., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror adds, “What a great DVD to get you in the mood for the upcoming summer vacation! I’m a big fan of the Cat in the Hat and his shenanigans. This one does not disappoint!” See their full reviews below.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Camping!

By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

 

I absolutely love all the different things I learned about from this DVD! The animation is spot on in this show which brings out a lot of cool stuff. In this collection, the Cat in the Hat, Nick, Sally, Fish, Thing One and Thing Two are all back for new and exciting adventures about camping. It makes the perfect summer DVD for kids who love Dr. Seuss’s terrific characters and stories. I enjoyed watching this so much because it is interesting and enjoyable and shows so many different people from all around the world. I imagine that kids from everywhere will enjoy this since camping is something everyone can do.

My favorite scene features a crafty squirrel who borrows food. We are in the great outdoors and have to remember that humans are in animal territory so, they need to be kind to the animals. The voice actors truly fit their characters, especially Martin Short as the Cat in the Hat. Mr. Short’s energetic voice over suits the Cat so well. His voice is very unique which makes his character always so fun, happy, encouraging and knowledgeable. He makes watching the show a treat.

Electronics rule the world today, so camping is great way to get back to nature.  Leave the phones at home and go outside and enjoy the world. This is the great lesson on this DVD. I would like to go camping this year for a fun vacation. It might even start a family tradition that my family and I would enjoy – time away from electronics exploring the wonderful world we live in. It is so easy to sit and worry that everything will go wrong, but things tend to always work out. Spend less time worrying and more time enjoying life is a message I took away from this.

There is no fishing on this camping trip since the goal is to take Fish to his family reunion. We see family members coming together from all difference places to get reacquainted with one another and connect in new ways.  It is always fun to see our family members from far away, listen to their stories about the past and learn about others in your extended family. I’m going to make this part of my summer plan.

I recommend this DVD for kids ages 4 to 12. You can learn a lot about camping, friendship and family reunions while watching this adventure. It is very catchy and perfect for summer. If you’re looking for something to do this summer, then this will give you some wonderful ideas. I give this terrific DVD 5 out of 5 camping adventure stars. This fun DVD is available now so, go check it out.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Camping!

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By Denise Bloomfield, KIDS FIRST! Juror

What a great DVD to get you in the mood for the upcoming summer vacation! I’m a big fan of the Cat in the Hat and his shenanigans. This one does not disappoint! It’s entertaining for the whole family and children, ages 3 to 9 will love it! I like that all the characters such as the Fish are included in this fun outdoor adventure. It also has a great story line from the beginning to end and it’s just so fun to watch. I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times. I also like that it is rather original and the animation and soundtrack are great. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and think that the adults will also enjoy watching this one with their young children. This comes out on DVD May 26, 2017 so, be sure to go check it out.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

Whole Foods Market celebrates National Hamburger Day with deal on vegan patties from Beyond Meat

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Whole Foods Market is celebrating National Hamburger Day on May 28 with a deal on plant-based burger patties from cult favorite, Beyond Meat. For one day only, customers can get two packages of Beyond Meat’s The Beyond Burger for $9. Each package contains two patties.

Beyond Meat is a plant-based protein source that replaces animal protein with plant protein from peas and other vegetables. The Beyond Burger is the brand’s burger patty and the world’s first plant-based burger that looks, cooks and tastes like fresh ground beef.  Fans love how the beets in the recipe give the burger the texture and appearance of a traditional “bleeding” meat burger when cooked.

Beyond Meat is a Los Angeles-based company founded in 2009 by CEO Ethan Brown. Beyond Meat’s products became available nationwide at Whole Foods Market stores in 2013, and has been a favorite among vegans and meat-eaters alike because of the unique flavor and texture that deliver a truly meaty experience

The offer is valid on May 28, 2017 while supplies last. No rain checks. States that do not carry Beyond Meat can still save on plant-based burger options with $2.00 off Field Roast Meatless Burger (TN, NC, GA, AL, GA, SC, MS) or $1.50 off Sweet Earth Veggie Burger (CA, NV).

Credit: Whole Foods Market.

ClassDojo and Yale Join Forces to Bring Mindfulness to Millions of Kids Around the World Check out the "5 Tips to Teach your Kids Mindfulness”

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This month, ClassDojo and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence announced a partnership to bring mindfulness to millions of kids around the world. Together, ClassDojo and Yale have created a set of activities related to ‘Mindfulness’ for home and school, to be made available to all ClassDojo teachers and parents over the coming weeks.

 

It has been shown that regular mindfulness practice — even just a few minutes per day — improves students’ optimism, reduces stress, and increases students’ ability to feel empathy for others.

 

“Practicing mindfulness helps to reduce stress and enhance attention — factors critical to a child’s success, not only in school but later in life,” says Marc Brackett Ph.D., Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University. “The challenge is ensuring that students, regardless of where their school is located, have the opportunity to benefit from mindfulness. ClassDojo provides an exciting opportunity to extend the powerful benefits of mindfulness to tens of millions of students.”

 

ClassDojo also conducted a new, national survey which found that even though only 13% of teachers and parents report having a mindfulness practice at their school, 70% want one.

 

“Learning to center yourself, stay focused, and be aware of others’ feelings are all things I know will benefit my students far into the future,” said Cindy Price a first grade teacher in New Castle, Delaware. “When my class found out the ClassDojo monsters will be talking about mindfulness, they all insisted on doing their own mindful yoga poses that afternoon in preparation!”

 

ClassDojo’s previous activity series on Growth Mindset and Empathy have been seen by 1 in 3 kids under the age of 14 in the U.S.

 

As with ClassDojo’s previous collaborations with Stanford (PERTS) and Harvard (Making Caring Common Project), the Mindfulness activities will be made available to all ClassDojo classrooms around the world.

 

“We believe that to create incredible classrooms at scale, classrooms need to be connected to the best ideas in the world,” said Chris Frank, head of research at ClassDojo. “In partnering with Yale, we have the ability to help millions of kids learn about mindfulness — from the US to Turkey to South Korea. For many of them, May will be the month of Mindfulness: we can’t wait to see the reaction!”

 

ClassDojo now reaches 90% of K-8 schools in the U.S. as well as schools in over 180 countries.

 

“The companies that get my attention are the ones transforming education at an unprecedented scale. ClassDojo is one of those companies,” said Deborah Quazzo, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at GSV Acceleration. “This partnership with Yale is another step in ClassDojo’s vision of helping any teacher, anywhere, create an incredible, modern classroom.”

 

ClassDojo: Mindfulness will begin on May 8, with activity guides and short videos for home and school released over the course of following two weeks.

 

For more information on ClassDojo’s Mindfulness activities, please visit https://www.classdojo.com/ideas and https://www.classdojo.com/about.

“5 Tips to Teach your Kids Mindfulness”

Paying attention to your own, and to your children’s, emotions and responding mindfully

 

  1. Recognize emotions: Paying attention to emotions – both one’s own and others – is a critical step toward building self-and social-awareness. Our facial expressions, body language, and vocal tones convey important messages, from, “I’m here for you” to “stay away!”
  2. Understand emotions: Learning what caused your child to feel the way they do, and sharing the reasons why we feel the way we do as parents, deepens communication and builds mutual respect. Asking open-ended questions such as, “what happened?” or “what do you believe caused you to feel this way?” helps to build this skill.
  3. Label emotions: We use language to inform thinking and communication. Try using specific emotion words such as disappointed instead of upset, or peaceful instead of good. The more nuanced our emotion vocabulary becomes as parents, the more advanced our children become at effectively communicating their feelings.
  4. Express emotions: Each home has an “emotional climate.” Creating a home where all emotions matter and can be talked about – the pleasant and unpleasant – helps to build trust, safety, openness, and authentic communication among all family members. As parents, we need to be comfortable discussing the full range of emotions with our children.
  5. Regulate emotions: Each day, we are modeling both effective and ineffective ways to manage emotions. Be mindful of modeling “positive self-talk” (e.g., it will all work out) as opposed to “negative self-talk” (e.g., nothing ever turns out the way it’s supposed to”) will help your child to learn helpful, as opposed to unhelpful, ways to deal with emotions.

 

* Tips from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

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About ClassDojo

ClassDojo’s mission is to give teachers, parents, and students the power to create incredible classrooms. Founded in 2011 and based in San Francisco, California, ClassDojo is a communication platform that helps students build important life skills while creating a simple way for teachers, parents, and students to share what’s happening during the school day through photos, videos, and messages. Today, 90% of K-8 schools in the U.S., as well as a further 180 countries, have joined ClassDojo. To learn more, visit: https://www.classdojo.com/ or Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

About the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Emotions drive learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, and health. The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence uses the power of emotions to create a healthier, and more equitable, productive, and compassionate society, today and for future generations. We conduct research and design educational approaches that support people of all ages in developing emotional intelligence and the skills to thrive and contribute to society. We do this work because the well-being and sustainability of our society depends on each of us using our emotions intelligently. To learn more, visit: http://ei.yale.edu/ or Facebook and Twitter.

 

New Colgate Total® Advanced Health Mouthwash is a Must-Try!

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Colgate is shaking things up with the latest addition to the Colgate Total® portfolio – new Colgate Total® Advanced Health Mouthwash. Building on the dual phase trend seen in many health and beauty products, this mouthwash is the first oral care product to contain two-layer technology; combining freshening power with germ killing ingredients (cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC)). First, shake the bottle to activate, next clean to remove 24x more bacteria* and then you will see the results in the sink! Simply – Shake, Clean, See – for a healthier mouth!

I tried this one out and was quite impressed! Just make sure to Shake it up first! I like that it really removes plaque! I really did notice a difference after using this Mouthwash.

MSRP:

  • 200mL: $4.99
  • 400mL: $5.99
  • 800mL: $7.99

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post. A photo was provided.