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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Family Movie Night - Scared Shrekless With Redbox #CouchCritics #CBias

We have been a Redbox family for many years. The price and convenience has always been a key to why Redbox has been a key to our weekend entertainment. I love how I can jump on the Redbox website, and reserve our movie prior to heading out the door, it also saves us time so that I know our movie will be available, prior to getting to the location, and finding out that our movie is out of stock. It has been a huge time saver, and has saved us from driving to the next Redbox, looking for our movie. In a matter of seconds I know that I can get on to the Redbox website, reserve and pay for our movie before we ever leave the house. Another get feature from Redbox, is the mobile app that allows you to do all of the great features of the website on your smart phone! (You can find all the great details of my experience in my Google+ album.)

We planned a family night and were so excited to see all of the great new releases such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3, Vampire Dog, and Scared Shrekless! The boys love Shrek, Donkey, and Puss and Boots, so it was very easy to select this great Halloween movie featuring their favorite green ogre Shrek. 

I loved that I just had to hop out of the car, and run to our local Walmart Redbox, to use the touch screen to pick up our reserved copy of Scared Shrekless and Hunger Games. As we paid in advance, it was a quick in and out trip!

The kids and I had a blast creating these great Shrek and Puss and Boots masks, just to add to the fun of watching the movie. My oldest son wore his mask while watching "Scared Shrekless!" They worked so hard, and loved the quality time spent together.

We ordered pizza, made "ogre," guacamole and watched Scared Shrekless as a family. The kids laughed at the all of the great jokes and simple kid humor, as adults we loved the parodies of great Halloween movies that we grew up with! One of the great things about the Shrek movies, is that each of us get something out of the movies! They are made for children, but the adults find references and humor that we can understand. Please check out out my review that can be found on the Couch Critics website, for further details!

Redbox can be found on Facebook and Twitter, look for our fun reviews with the hashtag #CouchCritics.

* I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™, #CBias, and #SocialFabric. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Friday, September 28, 2012

{Review} ABCmouse.com - Early Learning Academy


ABC Mouse offers a full online curriculum for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten in the subjects of reading, math, science, social studies, art, and music. Children can start anywhere and move through the curriculum at their own pace! ABC Mouse has won numerous awards, including the Parent's Choice, Teacher's Choice, and Mom's Choice GOLD awards! Get your first month FREE!  CLICK HERE


I am so excited to share this great one month FREE trial of ABCMouse.com with my readers! I have a Kindergartner and a Preschooler, who need to learn all about reading, math, music, the world around us, and so much more. The site offers 450 lessons, at six levels in an interactive curriculum for your preschooler or Kindergartner. With 3,000 Individual Learning Activities  your little one with fall in love with learning. My boys love the site, and the tickets and reward system gives them a sense of accomplishment  I love the tracking system, and seeing for myself the many learning activities that they have completed. What are you waiting for? Check out ABCmouse.com today!



*I was given a free trial of ABCmouse.com, to try with my family, but we feel in love with the site in the process, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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Five Question Friday - Flying, Names, and Leggings



Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post!

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP! Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN! 
Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!) 

Questions for Friday, September 28th


1. Do you prefer to drive to your vacation spot or fly? 

  • We are a road trip kind of family! My husband much prefers to travel by car, verse plane travel. If air fare was cheap for all four of us, we would consider flying. In the 15 years we have been together, we have been a plane once and that was before the kids!

2. If you could travel to any where in the world, where would you go and why? 

  • I have a huge travel list! I can not wait to travel to Europe, and see many of the places I have been in love with since I was a small child. I want to go to Cairo, Egypt and soak up all of the Egyptian history that I can. I want to spend valuable time at all of the Disney Parks, with and without my children. (I have only been to Epcot, and want nothing more than to go to Walt Disney World and Disney Land...how is that possible, right?)

3. Should grown women wear leggings? 

  • This is the one fashion that I never understood, and I can't fathom wearing leggings as an adult. I have never been fashion forward, and I don't think starting with leggings will be where I need to start.

4. If you could change your name to any other name, would you? And what would it be? 

  • This is something I gave great thought to as a young girl. At a time, where there were 6 Jennifer's in my grade school class, I wanted to be called anything other than the name my parents chose for me! My mom tells the story that they selected two names for me, Jason and Dana. (My mom did not know what she was having, and really thought I was going to be a boy...I had a football toy box...for years!) So, yes I have often questioned what it would be like, if I was a Dana! My mom said when she looked at me, she knew that I wasn't a Dana, and instead selected they very popular name of Jennifer! Knowing all of this...I have never wanted to change my name.

5. What magazines to you have subscriptions to?

  •  I do not currently have any magazines subscriptions, but have in the past! If I did purchase a subscription, it would be to People, Martha Stewart, or Disney's Family Fun. It is the first time in years that I haven't had a baby magazine or craft magazine show up in my mailbox...I just couldn't keep up, and they started to pile up unread. So, when the subscriptions expired, I did not renew, but I know at some point I will sign back up for something.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vlogging Mommies - Fall Fun




Happy Thursday, the Vlogging Mommies are talking about Fall Fun and Fall Traditions! Does your family pick apples? Do you have family pictures taken, among the fall leaves? Do you head to the pumpkin patch to select pumpkins? Do you decorate for Autumn, by setting out leaves, Indian corn, hay stalks, or pumpkins?
Link up, and join in on the fun!



<a href="crazycoolcrafty.com" target="_blank"><img src=" http://crazycoolcrafty.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/VloggingMommiesweb.jpg" alt="crazycoolcrafty.com" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Join us next week as we link up again, and vlog with some awesome ladies! Check out my fellow hostesses Hanan of LilacCityMomma, Cassie of CrazyCoolCrafty, and Mindi of SimplyStavish; and join in on the fun by linking up each Thursday!

Next week, we are talking about the a room in your home that needs a make over. Do you wish you could gut the kitchen, and change everything in it? Does your bathroom have original crazy colors? If you could decorate any room in the house with out objection or worry of a budget, how would you change the room? If you were given a room to yourself or space in the house, would you create a craft room or workout space? Tell us next week what room needs a make over!

See you next Thursday!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Halloween Preview

Mikey the Astronaut



Ryan the Chef

Angry Birds Fans or 2 Wise Guys...you decide!
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Guest Post: Back to School Wreath

Check out CrazyCoolCrafty.com, were I was asked to share a craft tutorial guest post! Thank you Cassie for asking me to guest post, it was a fun family project that I cant wait to share with all of you!

Guest Post: Back to School Wreath

finished crayon wreath by greeneyed momma
As a family, we made a welcome back to school gift for my son’s Kindergarten teacher. We wanted to find a simple craft project to kick off the school year, and spend some time as a family. Each family member took part in this craft, and I am pleased to report the teacher loved it. (She also asked if I was one of “those,” moms!?!) She must not have been able to contain her excitement, due to being in such close proximity of an awesome crafter and super mom!
Crayon Wreath supplies
Back 2 School – Crayon Wreath
Craft Supply list:
12″ embroidery hoop
8″ embroidery hoop
3 boxes of 24 count crayons
hot glue gun and 2 or 3 sticks of hot glue
pencil
ruler
painted wood cutouts (school bus and apples)
painted letters
sharpie
floral wire
ribbon
Directions:
My Helper and the supplies ready
1. Have your child sort the crayons and select the colors to be used for your wreath.
2. Place the 8″ hoop inside the 12″ hoop with equal distance between all edges.
3. Using a ruler and a pencil, mark each hoop into 4 equal sections.
4. Arrange the crayons along the 2 hoops, to see how to line up your crayons on the hoops
Wreath Form Set Up
5. Hot glue the crayons to the hoops, find a common letter or line on the crayon wrapper to affix the hot glue.
Hot Gluing Crayons to Wreath Form
6. Once your crayons are all hot glued to the hoops, you can now use wooden cutouts or wooden lettering to add the teacher’s name or additional decoration.
7. Use floral wire to make a hanger for a hook, if you are unsure of where the wreath will be hung. (Some fire doors will not support a ribbon hung wreath.)
8. Finish the wreath with ribbon, either as a final touch or as a way to hang the wreath.Crayon Wreath 057

Tips and Hints:
· Keep the unglued crayons arranged on the hoops, as it will keep the spacing.
· You might want to find a 6-7” round bowl or round jar to place inside of the center hoop, to help guide the ends of the crayons. That way you have a better guide to help maintain spacing and an even circle as you are gluing.
· We wrote the name of the school on the school bus, and added the year on the apples for a personal touch with a black sharpie.
· Shop the back to school sales! (I purchased three boxes of crayons for 25 cents each!)

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

{Review} Kidz Bop - Halloween Hits

 

KIDZ BOP Halloween Hits! It's the perfect Halloween soundtrack for costume parties, trick-or-treat bags, or just greeting some miniature monsters at your door.

Are you getting ready for Halloween? Are the kids picking out costumes? Do you greet, trick or treaters? Have you sent out Halloween party invitations? This CD is for you and will set the scene for entertaining kids!

When Kidz Bop Halloween Hits, was put into the CD player I told the boys we were going to dance and try on Halloween costumes. What I didn't expect was how the boys would react! My three year old ran and danced like a wild man! When the Kidz Bop kids sang "The Monster Mash," my five year old started pretending he was Frankenstein, and held out his arms in front of him! We listened to the whole CD, and enjoyed all of the Halloween Hits! My boys laughed and danced the whole time. If you are looking for a non-creepy or scary Halloween music CD, then this is what you are seeking as all of the songs are sung by children, for children. It will be something we will gladly share with our friends as, it is a great kid friendly CD!

Halloween Hits can be found at Kidz Bop Shop and most major retailers.

*I was not compensated for this review. I was sent Kidz Bop - Halloween Hits, for my personal review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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{Book Review} Tumford's Rude Noises



Tumford isn’t really a terrible cat. It’s just, like many children, Tum loves to make loud noises. But today, his parents are not in the mood. They have friends coming over and Tummy isn’t just loud. No, Tumford is rude! This charming tale from the multiple New York Times bestselling author Nancy Tillman is sure to delight readers everywhere, as she once again reaffirms that – no matter how much trouble you may get into – you are loved.

I told the boys it was time for bed, and that we were going to settle down to have story time. The kids and I sat on the couch and opened the book "Tumford's Rude Noises." My youngest son loved the art and beautiful details on every page. As I started reading, my five year old asked, "Mommy, is this book about passing gas?" I smiled and nodded yes, and continued to read all about Tumford the cat! The story explains that rude noises have a place, and not everyone appreciates them. As the Mom of two boys, who are obsessed with body noises, this was the best book I have found that talks about rude noises and how to deal with them! Once we were finished with the book, we talked about saying "Excuse me!" I can not tell you how great this book is for younger children, or emergent readers, as it is simple enough that my 3 and 5 year old knew exactly what the story was about. If you are seeking to teach a lesson or set the example, about rude noises, then this is the book for you!

Tumford's Rude Noises a vibrant, colorful new picture book by Nancy Tillman, bestselling author of On the Night You Were Born and Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You, starring Tumford, a mischievous cat with a penchant for getting attention by, er, breaking wind. The subject matter may inspire a few giggles, but, when accompanied by Tillman's trademark watercolors and her message that love is unconditional (no matter how much trouble you get into), it is sure to charm even the most squeamish parents and children.

*I was sent a copy of the book, for my personal review, and was not compensated for sharing my opinion or thoughts.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

{Review} Harry Potter Poster Collection

I worked in a book store, when the third book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, was released! I can remember the line that wrapped around the store, and the hundreds of shoppers that eagerly awaited for the clock to strike midnight. Each of us dressed up as characters from the book, and I dressed as professor Sybill Trelawney! I have been a huge fan since day one and joined the masses at midnight for the final book release! I am proud to say that I stayed up all night, and read Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows in six hours. (My husband thought I was nuts, and just didn't understand!) I have seen each of the movies, and attended midnight showings for them as well. Yes, I cried when I watched the final film, and could not believe that an era of Harry Potter films had just come to a close. I have very vivid images that stand out from each film, do you? Are you a super fan? Have you read each of the books? Have you watched each of the movies? Then I have something fun and exciting to share with you! Check out these two amazing collections of full size posters!

When I opened each book, I was drawn into each poster! Each vivid image reminded me of the great Harry Potter films. I could remember the emotions that consumed me as I watched, matching faces to each of the characters from the books. There is a magic that happens when a movie, is made into film, and these posters are a great way to remember the first images and characters! I can not wait to share them with my children, once they read the books!

Harry Potter: The Definitive Movie Posters - Demonstrating Harry Potter's global reach and unparalleled visual impact, Harry Potter: The Definitive Movie Posters features the most dramatic national and international movie posters created during the entire eight-film run. This elegant, large-scale format captures the magic of the films with forty artfully selected, display-worthy posters. Fans will get a sense of the mounting excitement that surrounded the screenings worldwide. Beloved characters, powerful emotions, and thrilling moments leap from the page.

The posters are printed on glossy card stock inside a protective cover. Easily removable as full sheets, they're crease-free and perfect for displaying. Featured images include the iconic depiction of Hagrid and young Harry looking up at Hogwarts castle; the all-knowing gazes of Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall; the romantic Yule Ball costumes; the chilling face of Voldemort; and many others. You'll want to display each and every image!


Harry Potter: The Quintessential Images - This beautiful poster book captures the magic of the Harry Potter films in an exciting new format. Harry Potter: The Quintessential Images comes with forty large-scale, display-worthy posters, featuring your favorite Harry Potter characters in striking poses-from Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley to Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, Bellatrix Lestrange, and even Dobby the house-elf. The posters span all eight feature films, celebrating pivotal moments and highlighting each character's evolution through the years.
The posters are printed on glossy cardstock and adhesive-bound inside a protective cover. Easily removable as full sheets, they're crease-free and ideal for displaying. Whether your display of choice is Harry and Ron in full Quidditch gear; Hermione dressed for the Yule Ball; Cedric Diggory in his Hufflepuff robe; the ever-malicious Malfoys; or dozens of others-you'll find a fun and colorful array in this keepsake collection.
Warner Bros. Entertainment is a fully integrated, broad-based entertainment company - a global leader in the creation, production, distribution, licensing, and marketing of creative content and its related businesses across multiple current and emerging media and platforms.

These books can be found at Insight Editions and other retailers.
*I was not compensated for this review, but all opinions are my own. I was sent the two books of posters for my personal review.

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{Giveaway Closed} Disney On Ice presents Rockin' Ever After - 4 Tickets!

Our winner of the Family 4 Pack is: 
Morgan P. 


Do you want to see Disney On Ice presents Rockin' Ever After, in Baltimore, Maryland, at 1st Mariner Arena? I am hosting a giveaway, and you can win a Family 4 Pack of tickets! 


Available prize winning shows times are: 
·       Wednesday, October 24th @ 7:30 p.m. 
·       Thursday, October 25th @ 7:30 p.m.
·       Friday, October 26th @ 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
·       Contest tickets are unavailable for Saturday or Sunday Shows

Entries:
Mandatory: Comment below and tell me your favorite Princess or Disney Character.
Extra 1: Follow me on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so (please leave your Facebook name if different from the one in the comments)
Extra 2: Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment telling me your twitter name.
This contest is open for residents of Baltimore and surrounding residents, 18 or older only. You must be able to get to the 1st Mariner Arena Box Office to exchange the passes for tickets. Contest runs from now until Wednesday September 26, 2012 at 11:59. Winner will have 24 hours to respond. Passes will be sent by mail, to the winner once email response has been received.
Good Luck!

*I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre—Show events. Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine. Feld Entertainment is neither a sponsor nor endorser of this promotion or giveaway.


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Saturday, September 22, 2012

{Review} PackAways Classic Storage Boxes


PackAways is a brand new Storage Box that ships and stores in the flat position. When needed, simply press on opposing corners and the bottom "Automatically" folds into place and locks. When not in use, simply press on the bottom and the box folds back down flat for easy, out of the way storage. Ideal for homes, apartments or living quarters where use is intermittent and space is tight. Many applications: Moving; Back To School; Organizing The Kids' Rooms; Basement or Garage; Seasonal Items, etc. You can color code your things or have the colors match your decor. Proudly made in the U.S.A. from durable corrugated plastic. Great for harsh storage conditions or long-term storage since moisture and humidity won't effect the integrity of the boxes. Will last hundreds of cycles under normal circumstances. Many, many useful applications. Comes with 2 Wipe Away Panels that allow you to conveniently identify the contents of the box. If you use China Dry Erase Markers, you can simply Wipe Away the previous contents and remark the box. Please go to www.packaways.com for more information.

 

 Classic PackAways

Featuring Two Wipe-away panels


Get Organized! You'll find a multitude of uses for our collapsible plastic storage boxes. From storing seasonal items to sporting equipment, PackAways are versatile and durable. Instant set-up, no tape required. Simply press on opposing corners and the bottom automatically folds into place. Plus the wipe-away panels let you identify contents, then erase and re-label for your next project.
  • Collapsible Plastic Storage Boxes
  • Corrugated plastic protects from water & humidity
  • Instant set-up, no tape required
  • Reuse hundreds of times
  • Collapses flat when not in use
  • Unique wipe-away panels
  • Four brilliant colors
  • Common Footprint, Stack Neatly
PackAways are the only collapsible corrugated plastic storage boxes available in the world!
Easy to Open. Easy to Collapse.



We loved the Classic PackAways in the bright green and blue colors, and found that they are a cinch to put together! They held the contents of 3 cardboard boxes, that had collapsed from weight that was sitting in our storage room. I knew I wanted to unbox the content of these boxes, and just hadn't gotten to it. When I entered the storage room I found a stack of three boxes that were leaning, and appeared to have shifted from weight. The card board boxes were emptied and I transferred the items into the large bright green 21 Gallon Classic Plastic Storage PackAways box! I was so excited that all of my items now were contained in one box, which saved space! I loved the heavy plastic that the PackAways are made out of, and can not wait to write "Holiday Decor," on the unique wipe away panels. This project was so quick and easy, thanks to PackAways!

PackAways can be found on Facebook.

*I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Five Question Friday - Fall, Pot Luck Dish, & Grammar


Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday and LINK UP at Five Crooked HalosOh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

What is one grammar issue you cannot let go without correcting?  I am the first to admit, I am a horrible speller, and my grammar isn't stellar either! I just ask for your understanding!

What’s your favorite thing about fall? I love Fall, but hate my allergies that come with it! I love the brisk air, pulling out jeans and pants, making chili and corn bread, pumpkins, and the colorful leaves as we drive around town. The best part? Football, as I love MIZZOU college football, tailgating, and cheering for the Baltimore Ravens! There is a passion for Fall sports, and I look forward to it each year!

What’s your favorite dish to take to a potluck?  I love to bake, so I always ask if I can bring a dessert, my favorites include Gooey Butter Cake or cookies. If I have to bring a side or main dish, then I pass the torch to my husband!

When do you start your holiday (Christmas) shopping?  Every year I tell myself to start earlier than November, but it never fails I fall into the stressful pattern of shopping until a few days before Christmas. I have two gifts tucked away, but they are very small items I was able to find on clearance! I am always looking for a bargain, and might venture out the day after Thanksgiving...but I haven't done that in a few years!

Did you move homes a lot growing up?  Yes, we moved a lot when I was a child, I attended four different grade schools. We finally settled down when I entered the fifth grade, and my parents did not move again till after I was out of the house and married. 

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PBS Kids - Arthur Returns for 16th Season on October 15, 2012

ARTHUR, television's longest-running children's animated series, returns for a 16th season with five all-new episodes featuring new adventures, new laughs, and a brand-new character on PBS KIDS!

In the two-part season premiere, "Based on a True Story," we meet Ladonna Compson, a Louisiana native with the gift of gab. Ladonna charms Arthur and friends with her amazing "true" stories. But are her stories really fact...or fiction?

"We're delighted to welcome Ladonna to the ARTHUR family. We know many kids will relate to her struggles to fit in and make new friends at school," noted Executive Producer Carol Greenwald. "We trust that fans will enjoy Ladonna's many stories as much as we do!"



And don't miss the debut of Elwood City's newest resident on Monday, October 15 on PBS KIDS (check local listings)!

The fun continues throughout the week with four new episodes airing Tuesday, October 16 through Friday, October 19. Episode descriptions and airdates below:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Flippity Francine"                                                             
When Muffy posts a goofy video of Francine on the Muffington Post, Francine worries she will become the laughing stock of the entire school. Can Francine regain her dignity? Or will she have to swap her cleats for clown shoes?

"Muffy Takes the Wheel"
It's the 1st Annual Lakewood Derby and Muffy's revved up! But when she enlists her dad to help her make the winning car, he completely takes over. Can Muffy hit the brakes on this runaway project? Or will she be left in the dust?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"All About D.W."     
When Emily gets the starring role in the preschool play, D.W. is beside herself with jealousy. She should be Little Red Riding Hood, not Tree #2! Undeterred, D.W. appoints herself Emily's understudy (just in case!). But when the big moment arrives, can D.W. handle the spotlight?

"Blockheads"
D.W. and Emily are upset when they get stuck with the blocks at playtime. But apathy turns to obsession when they begin building their dream house. Forget snacks and naptime! They've got a palastle to build!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Get Smart"
Everyone loves HUGO-the new interactive whiteboard that claims to be 100% accurate. If only Mr. Ratburn knew how to use it...After a crash course from Brain, Mr. Ratburn embraces the high tech teaching tool; that is, until HUGO corrects him in front of the class. Let the battle of rat vs. machine begin!

"Baby Steps"
Mei Lin can say "hello" AND play the piano?!? Kate can't even wave! Worried about her sister's future, D.W. enlists the help of Brain to determine if Kate is above average, below average, or (gulp!) just average-average...Meanwhile, Kate and Pal are puzzled by D.W.'s odd behavior and vow to find a "cure."

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Night of the Tibble"
The Tibble Twins are having their first sleepover! The lucky victim...err, guest: James. Will the Tibbles lock him in the dark basement? Strap him to the terrifying Flatter Fling? Serve him cupcakes and cookies for dinner?!?

"Read and Flumberghast"  
A cupcake's been stolen! The primary suspect: Tommy Tibble. D.W. gathers a jury and demands that justice be served. Can D.W. get Tommy to confess? Or will she lose control of this kangaroo court?

Join Arthur and friends for these and other adventures beginning Monday, October 15 on PBS KIDS! And stay tuned for more new episodes in Spring 2013!

About ARTHUR
ARTHUR, based on the best-selling books by Marc Brown, is television's longest-running children's animated series. Over the past 15 seasons, ARTHUR has remained one of the highest-rated weekday children's series on PBS among children 6-11. ARTHUR has won numerous awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award, a BAFTA, and six Daytime Emmys®-four for Outstanding Children's Animated Program. ARTHUR is produced by WGBH Boston and 9 Story Entertainment. Executive producers are Carol Greenwald (WGBH), Vince Commisso (9 Story), and Marc Brown (Marc Brown Studios). Directed by Greg Bailey. Funding for ARTHUR is provided by public television viewers. Corporate funding is provided by Chuck E. Cheese's®.

About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the #1 educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online, and community-based programs. For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math, and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

{Vlogging Mommies} Favorite Room in Your House




It's Thursday and a new Vlogging Mommies challenge is here, and we are talking about your family's favorite room in the house! What room do you spend the most time in? Where do you spend time focused on quality family time? Where do your kids play?
Link up, and join in on the fun!



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Join us next week as we link up again, and vlog with some awesome ladies! Check out my fellow hostesses Hanan of LilacCityMomma,Cassie of CrazyCoolCrafty, and Mindi of SimplyStavish; and join in on the fun by linking up each Thursday!

Next week, we are talking about your favorite Fall traditions. Does your family pick apples? Do you go to a corn maze? Do you go to a pumpkin patch, and look for the Great Pumpkin? Does your family go for a Fall walk, looking for leaves? Do you attend a Fall craft fair or festival? Tell us all about the Fall event your family really looks forward to!

See you next Thursday!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday



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{Book Review} Tortillas To The Rescue Cookbook


What’s the one item you should always have in your fridge? Tortillas! Not only do tortillas have a long shelf life, they are incredibly versatile. Want proof? Check out “Tortillas to the Rescue.” This cookbook features more than 100 recipes for delicious breakfasts, snacks, wraps, main courses (with vegetarian options), and desserts. Learn how to make your own tortillas or use any store-bought brand and create mouthwatering meals for the whole family: Tortilla-Crusted French Toast, Tortilla Soup, BLT Tacos, Burger Pouches, Burrito Casserole or Ice Cream Tacos. Whether you stuff, wrap, bake, roll or fry it, the world is your tortilla!






Black Bean Soup in Tortilla Bowls

This cute presentation serves up unctuous black bean soup in its own edible bowl. I love to break off chunks of the crunchy bowl for dipping. You can also make the bowls for chili or other thick soups, or even to use to hold dips like guacamole or bean dip. Serves 4

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, undrained
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
4 tortilla bowls
2 scallions, minced
1 medium avocado, diced
lime wedges, for garnish

  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7-9 minutes. Stir in the beans, vegetable broth, and cumin. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are very soft and the flavors have had a chance to meld, about 20 minutes.
  2. Ladle out about 1 1/2 cups into a bowl and puree with an immersion blender until mostly smooth (or transfer to a blender and puree). Return the puree soup to the pot and stir to combine. Simmer, uncovered, until all the ingredients are tender and the soup is thick, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Stir in the lime juice and season to taste with more salt and cumin, if desired.
  3. To serve, set a tortilla bowl on a small plate or shallow bowl. Spoon soup into bowl and garnish with scallion, avocado, and a lime wedge.
Tortilla Bowls
Use ramekins, ovenproof bowls, or individual cake pans to make bowls in the size you like. You can also find special pans for making tortilla bowls in kitchenware stores or online. Companies that make them include Norpro and Chicago Metallic.

4 medium (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush the tortillas on both sides with the vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt. Fit a tortilla into an ovenproof, flat-bottomed bowl, making sure mold the tortilla into the bottom of the bowl, so that it will have a flat base, and crimping the tortilla to fit the sides. Bake the tortilla in the bowl until it holds  its shape on its own, about 10 minutes. Remove from the bowl and place the tortilla bowl directly on the oven rack or baking sheet and bake until crisp and just starting to turn golden, 3-5 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let cool before filling. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

About the Author:
Jessica Harlan has written about food and cooking for nearly twenty years, Her work has appeared in many print and online publications including About.com, Clean Eating, Town & Country, Gaiam,com, and Arthritis Today. She is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, and has written two other cookbooks, Ramen to the Rescue and Quinoa Cuisine, for Ulysses Press. She lies in Atlanta, Georgia.

$12.95 Trade Paper
August 2012 from Ulysses Press
ISBN: 978-1-61243-100-0
208 pages

You can find Tortillas to the Rescue at major retailers or online via Amazon.com.

*I was not compensated for this book review, but sent a copy for my personal review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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