Give Sports Illustrated for Kids this Holiday Season

I am ALWAYS looking for different things for my kids to read, specifically my son.  It seems that most books written for children are geared towards girls.  Unless they are non-fiction, but Zachary doesn’t always want to read about bugs and things like that.  He likes to read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, but they are a tad bit above his level so I don’t really know how much he is actually reading.  But really, I am just happy that he enjoys  to read. So many kids would rather be playing video games than reading.  Now don’t get me wrong, Zachary likes to play video games, but he spends a good amount of each day reading.

Sports Illustrated for Kids has won high honors from the Association of Educational Publishers and the Parents’ Choice Award.  Since both my kids are so into sports right now, SI Kids is a great way to keep them reading and gives them something they are truly interested in.  Each SI Kids magazine is full of:

  • Action photos
  • Easy-to-read stories
  • About star athletes
  • Helpful instructional tips from the pros
  • Packed with Humor, comics and activities

For more information about SI Kids, you can visit them at their website.  If you’re on Facebook, be sure to “Like” them!

We’re approaching the holiday season and for a limited time you can receive an ENTIRE YEAR of SI Kids in both print AND digital for only $19.95!  You can subscribe by going to this link.

Still not sure if you should get a subscription?  Well let me give you FIVE more reasons why getting a subscription to SI Kids would be great:

  1. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer.
  2. It promotes reading for children who are reluctant readers.
  3. Each issue is full of exciting stories, photos and games that are a perfect distraction while traveling.
  4. No gift wrapping — it’s delivered straight to your door.
  5. It’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year through.
So there you have it…not only is the price right, but there are six more reasons why subscribing to SI Kids for your children would be a great gift this holiday season.

 *I received a one year subscription to SI Kids and a stocking of goodies from Sports Illustrated for Kids for writing this post.  

Cinderella II and III on Blu-ray!

I must be living under a rock.  I had no idea that there was a Cinderella II and III.  I love the first Cinderella, so when I found out there were two more, I was very excited!


The fairytale story of Disney’s beloved Princess Cinderella continues in a 2-Movie Collection Special Edition of Cinderella II:  Dreams Come True and Cinderella III:  A Twist in Time.  Your favorite characters return with double the magic and more memorable music.

Cinderella II:  Dreams Come True Special Edition

As a newly crowned princess, Cinderella quickly learns that life at the Palace–and her royal responsibilities are more challenging than she had imagined.  In three heartwarming tales, Cinderella calls on her animal friends and her Fairy Godmother to help as she brings her own grace and charm to her regal role and discovers that being true to yourself is the best way to make your dreams come true.

Cinderella III:  A Twist in Time Special Edition

Princess Cinderella is living a charmingly perfect life until her stepmother gets her hands on Fairy Godmother’s magic wand.  With a wicked spell that turns back the clock, she erases the Prince’s memories of the girl he met at the ball and shatters Cinderella’s happily ever after!  Jaq and Gus scurry to save the say before time runs out.  But was it all really just a dream in Cinderella’s heart, or will true love triumph over all?

Like all movies, Cinderella II and III feature a set of bonus features that your kids are sure to love!

Bonus Features for Cinderella II:  Dreams Come True Special Edition

  • Becoming a Princess – 1st edition
  • Musical Magic
  • “Put It Together” music video

Bonus Feature for Cinderella III:  A Twist in Time Special Edition

  • Becoming a Princess – 2nd edition

This special 2-movie collection will make its debut on blu-ray on November 20, 2012…just in time for the holidays!  Be sure to pick up your copy for the princess in your life!

When Do You Put Up Your Christmas Tree?

When I had kids, one of the most important things for me to do was start family traditions.  I wanted my kids to not really remember what they got at Christmas, but what they DID at Christmas time.  One of my most favorite family traditions is putting up our Christmas tree.  For years we had a fake tree…until it took a fall down the basement stairs and really didn’t go back together the way it should (READ:  it was so lopsided that we used it for another year, but had to secure it to the wall just so one side would stay up).  So obviously we couldn’t use that tree again!

For the last few years we’ve gotten a live tree.  The kids always had a good time running through the lot looking for the perfect tree.  Only to them, it was either the tree that cost a ridiculous amount because it was a  blueish color or it looked like something Charlie Brown took home.  In fact, one year our tree was so weird looking that every time anyone looked at it, they laughed.  Last year my husband insisted the size of the tree wasn’t too big…it was like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation in our house when those branches opened up!  Thank goodness it wasn’t too close to the window!!

This year I decided to try something different.  Rather than purchase a new fake tree or pick out a live one, we decided to try put up a 6 foot cardboard tree.  Now don’t laugh.  There are many benefits to a cardboard tree.

  • It doesn’t take up a lot of space.
  • You can store it easily after Christmas…it can fit under a bed, in a closet, behind a couch…the possibilities are endless!
  • The kids can add the cardboard ornaments without yelling that the tree is too “pokey”.
  • You don’t have to water it on a daily basis or sweep up the needles that fall off because you forgot to water it.
  • If you have small children, you don’t have to worry about ornaments breaking.

Boutique Cascades

You may be wondering why there are TWO stars on top of the tree.  Well…Bella decided that since we had two, we had to put both on the tree.  And she thinks it looks “FABULOUS”!  The Massimo Cardboard Christmas Tree from Boutique Cascades was very easy to put together and it came with cardboard ornaments and LED lights to decorate it with.  We had the tree put together and decorated in less than an hour.  Some of the ornaments were a little difficult to put on the tree and they would fall off.  But all in all it was pretty easy to do.  One piece of advice…put the lights on first.  The directions tell you to do it second, but I would totally do it first.

Here’s a little about Boutique Cascades:

Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, markets and converts packaging products and tissue paper, composed mainly of recycled fibres.  Cascades employs close to 11,000 women and men who work in approximately 100 modern and flexible operating units located in North America and in Europe.

Cascades’ management philosophy, its more than 45 years of experience in recycling and its continuous efforts in research and development are strengths which enable the company to create new and innovative products for its customers. The Cascades shares trade on the Toronto Stock Market under the ticker symbol CAS.

For more detailed information, please visit our Web site at

My experience with Boutique Cascades has been really great.  When the Christmas tree arrived on my doorstep, the box was open and the Christmas tree spray had spilled in the box.  I immediately contacted my rep with the company and she sent another one back out to me.  That is really great customer service!  This shipped during the time Hurricane Sandy was happening and while we don’t get hurricane’s where I live, the weather was still pretty bad.  Regardless, I was taken care of and now have a Christmas tree in perfect condition.  So you can definitely order and have peace of mind.

So…do I have my Christmas tree up too early?  When do you put yours up?

Please leave me a comment and tell me about your holiday traditions.  Also, when and what kind of Christmas tree do you put up!!

*I received the Massimo Cardboard Christmas tree to review.  All stories and opinions are solely my own.

Have You Started Christmas Shopping?

The holidays for me last year were not that great.  I mean it was great to be with family, but I wasn’t excited about them.  It was just another day.  Money was tight because my husband was laid off and every parent likes to get their kids things for Christmas (and yes…I know that isn’t what Christmas is all about).  However, this year…I’m BEYOND excited!!

Back in October I went to Brandcation with a bunch of lovely ladies and we had a nice little contest when we got back and the winner could choose between some really great prizes.  From the second I got my ticket to Brandcation, I knew that I wanted to win that contest.  One of the prize options was a Kindle Fire HD .  I spent HOURS upon HOURS when we got back from Pigeon Forge, one day I sat at my computer for over 6 hours.  But guess what…it worked!  I won the Kindle Fire HD!  When I tell you I was shaking, I was literally shaking from head to toe.

Look what came today:

Yep…two Kindle Fire’s!!  I had enough Amazon cash that I could order a second one.  My kids are going to flip!  They have no idea we were even considering this!  I cannot wait to charge them up and get them loaded with some fun apps and  books for them!  One must have app will be Angry Birds Star Wars.  I haven’t check yet to see if it is at the Amazon App Store yet, but if it is, they will have it!

Not only am I excited to give my kids their main present, but I am also excited for my nieces and nephew and the grandparent gifts!  I love giving gifts!!

What are you getting your loved ones for the holidays?

Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2 on Blu-ray!

Disney-Pixar, the award-winning studio famous for “Toy Story”, “Up” and “WALL-E” will be releasing a collection of 12 unforgettable short films together on Blu-ray for the very first time!  The entire collection is rated G which makes this great for the whole family!  Pick up your copy on November 13, 2012!

volume 2

The Short Films included in this collection are:

  • BURN-E:  BURN-E is a dedicated, hard working robot that finds himself locked out of his ship and quickly learns that completing a simple task can often be a difficult endeavor.  Based on the characters from WALL-E.  (Directed by Angus MacLane)
  • Dug’s Special Mission:  In this funny short based on the character from Up, Dug is sent on a foolish mission by Alpha, Beta and Gamma so that they can hunt for the Bird of Paradise Falls by themselves.  Soon Dug discovers that where he belongs is not where he’s been looking.  (Directed by Ronnie del Carmen).
  • George & AJ:  Inspired by Carl’s escape, senior citizens around the city unite to make their own “escapes”, much to the chagrin of George and A.J., in this short that features characters from Up.  (Directed by Josh Cooley).
  • Air Mater:  In this hilarious short, Mater decides he wants to learn how to fly and is accidentally recruited by an elite group of formation flyers, the Falcon Hawks.  (Directed by Rob Gibbs).
  • Time Travel Mater:  When a clock lands on Mater’s engine, he travels back in time to 1910 where he meets Stanley, the founder of Radiator Springs.  (Directed by Ron Gibbs).
  • Your Friend The Rat:  Ratatouille’s Remy and his brother Emile guide fans through world history from a rat’s perspective.  (Directed by Jim Capobianco)
  • Partly Cloudy:  This humorous short features baby-delivering storks who receive their special packages high in the stratosphere, from clouds who sculpt babies and bring them to life.  (Directed by Peter Sohn).
  • Presto:  When Presto, a great turn-of-the-century magician, neglects to feed his rabbit one too many times, the magician finds he isn’t the only one with a few tricks up his sleeve.  (Directed by Doug Sweetland).
  • Day & Night:  This short follows Day, a sunny fellow who encounters Night, a stranger of distinctly dark moods.  As their suspicions turn to curiosity, they are delighted to find that this budding friendship can offer a new perspective on the world.  (Directed by Teddy Newton).
  • Hawaiian Vacation:  Fans will love this “Toy Story Toon”, as Woody and Buzz lead a group of toys in giving Ken and Barbie the Hawaiian vacation of their dreams — without ever leaving home.  (Directed by Gary Rydstrom).
  • Small Fry:  Fans’ favorite team of toys is back in this clever “Toy Story Toon”, Buzz Lightyear is left behind at a fast food restaurant where he finds himself in a support group for discarded toys.  As Woody and the gang devise a way to rescue their friend, Buzz tries to escape the toy psychotherapy meeting.  (Directed by Angus MacLane).
  • La Luna:  The timeless fable of a young boy coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances, in which he discovers his Papa’s and Grandpa’s unusual line of work.  (Directed by Enrico Casarosa).

My kids really enjoyed the short films on here!  My son’s favorite was “Time Travel Mater” and Bella’s favorite was “Partly Cloudy”.  Besides the 12 short films mentioned above, there are seven rarely seen student films from renowned directors John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter.  Those include:

  • Nitemare
  • The Lady & The Lamp
  • Somewhere in the Arctic
  • A Story
  • Winter
  • Palm Springs
  • Next Door
Check out this short clip…this would make a great stocking stuffer!  Enjoy!

Pick up your copy of the Pixar Short Films Collection 2 on November 13, 2012.  The 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack will retail for $39.99 (U.S) and $46.99 (Canada) and the 1-Disc DVD will retail for $29.99 (U.S.) and $25.99 (Canada).


*I was provided with a copy of the Pixar Short Films Collection for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are solely my own.