February 24, 2015

Kid Lid Covers Protects Your Laptops

Remember a few months ago when my son spilled liquid on my laptop. Lets take a moment of deep breathe in memory.

I bet if I had one of these products from Kid Lid, I would have blogged a different story. Why? Because Kid Lid, offers a simple and safe solution that protects devices like laptops while still allowing kids to use them.

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Founded by Matthew Mogol, a stay at home father, Mogolo (Kid Lid’s parent company) currently offers two different versions of their products: Protect and Fold Up.

The Fold Up Board provides a soft yet protective solution for guarding any laptop’s keyboard. Perfect for both children and adult travelers, this versatile design allows the user to flip up the bottom fold for easy access to the computer’s track pad without fully removing the board. Available for $39 in Watermelon and Black for 13” and 15” laptops.

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The Protect Board is the strongest and sturdiest of the Kid Lid products and provides a smooth and stable surface that protects the keyboard from pounding and small hands. The Protect Board is also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and available for $29 in White for 13” and 15” laptops.

Both products were created with real kids in mind and are made of BPA-free polycarbonate plastic and universally created for 13” and 15” Mac and PC laptop computers.

To learn more, visit - www.kidlid.com

LEGO 2015 Video Games: Jurassic World, Marvel's Avengers and New Mobile Titles

It's no secret that we're a family of gamers. And as a gaming family we were thrilled when Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group announced their 2015 slate of video games, including LEGO Jurassic World™, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, plus new handheld and mobile titles. Woot! It's going to be an exciting year of gaming.

LEGO 2015 Video Games Jurassic World, Marvel's Avengers and Mobile Titles

“The LEGO videogame franchise remains a cornerstone of our business, consistently delivering fun, engaging gameplay and remarkable humor both kids and adults love,” said David Haddad, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “We look forward to expanding the successful series with this very exciting line-up of new LEGO experiences for players of all ages to enjoy on console, handheld and mobile gaming devices.”

Some of the upcoming LEGO videogame titles include:

LEGO Jurassic World™ #LEGOJurassicGame - Following the epic storylines of Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III, as well as the highly anticipated Jurassic World, LEGO Jurassic World is the first videogame where players will be able to relive and experience all four Jurassic films.

The game will be available in June for the Xbox One, all-in-one games and entertainment system, the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system, the Wii U™ system from Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system, and Windows PC.

Follow LEGO Jurassic World at:

On Facebook - www.facebook.com/LEGOJurassic
On Twitter - www.twitter.com/LEGOJurassic
On Instagram - www.instagram.com/LEGOJurassic

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers #LEGOMarvelAvengers - Avengers Assemble! Experience the first console videogame featuring characters and storylines from the blockbuster film Marvel’s The Avengers and the much anticipated sequel Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and more. Play as the most powerful Super Heroes in their quest to save humanity.

The game will be available in fall 2015 for the Xbox One, all-in-one games and entertainment system, the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system, the Wii U system from Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS hand-held system, and Windows PC.

Follow LEGO Marvel’s Avengers at:

On Facebook - www.facebook.com/LEGOMarvelVideoGame
On Twitter - www.twitter.com/legomarvelgame
On Instagram - www.instagram.com/legomarvelgame

LEGO 2015 Video Games Jurassic World, Marvel's Avengers and Mobile Titles

“This year will be the biggest yet for LEGO videogames with these incredible titles and several firsts for the series,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “TT Games are crafting humorous LEGO adventures, based on new stories and characters across some of the most well-known and iconic worlds.”

LEGO Ninjago™: Shadow of Ronin™ - The latest LEGO handheld game delivers an untold story of the LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu TV show. Using their Spinjitzu abilities, players can unleash their Ninja’s elemental power to smash their way through enemies and solve puzzles.

Developed by TT Fusion, a subsidiary of TT Games, the game comes to the Nintendo 3DS handheld system and the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system on March 24, 2015.

The LEGO Movie Videogame - for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. In the game, players guide Emmet as he is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared. With a delightful mix of over 90 characters from the feature film, including Batman, Superman and the Green Ninja, The LEGO Movie Videogame leads gamers on a journey through fantastical worlds in 45 exciting levels.

Developed by TT Games, the mobile game is now available on the App Store.

LEGO Batman™: Beyond Gotham - for mobile devices, the Caped Crusader joins forces with the Super Heroes of the DC Comics universe and blasts off to outer space to stop the evil Brainiac from destroying Earth. Players will unlock and play as their favorite DC Comics characters, including members of the Justice League and the Legion of Doom, and explore iconic locations such as the Hall of Justice, the Batcave and the Justice League Watchtower. Developed by TT Games, the mobile game will be available this summer.

New “Thomas & Friends” Shorts on YouTube Kids App

This week Thomas & Friends® will embark on exciting new adventures that will arrive on their very own YouTube channel! Mattel, Inc.’s preschool content development division HIT Entertainment and YouTube have teamed up to bring Thomas & Friends on an exciting new adventure!

Thomas & Friends Shorts on YouTube Kids App

The Thomas & Friends YouTube app will feature Thomas the Tank Engine™ having adventures in brand new digital shorts off the Island of Sodor in fascinating destinations like London, Paris, and New York City, and coming to life in children’s playrooms.

“Thomas & Friends and our entire portfolio of brands engages millions of children and families with exciting adventures, and our imaginative new short-form content continues that strong story-telling tradition,” said Sid Mathur, Vice President, HIT Entertainment, The Americas. “From airing thousands of hours of content with the best broadcasters for children around the world to launching content on exciting emerging platforms like the YouTube Kids app, we are thrilled to join with best in class partners to provide families with trusted and captivating entertainment in multiple formats and on all platforms where they are engaging with content.”

Starting in March, Mattel plans to introduce new Thomas & Friends shorts on the Thomas & Friends YouTube channel weekly and the content will be available via the new YouTube Kids app, which launched today.

Thomas & Friends Shorts on YouTube Kids App

“Exploration and experimentation are at the heart of our playful new Thomas & Friends content,” said Christopher Keenan, Vice President, Content and Executive Producer, HIT Entertainment. “With its global adventures and new production methods, along with classic songs and stories, the new YouTube videos enrich the world of Thomas & Friends and expand on what’s most loved by kids and families about their favorite number one engine, Thomas.”

The videos will be tagged on the Thomas YouTube channel with “World Tour”, and the first video, “Thomas & Friends: Thomas is Leaving the Island of Sodor”, teases Thomas’ new adventures.

The unique content will feature:
  • Thomas Around the World: Videos styled in 2D comic strip style animation that take Thomas to exciting destinations across the globe.
  • Live Action Playroom Shorts: Thomas comes to life as a toy in a child’s playroom.
  • Thomas Comedy Showtime: A mash up of great moments and characters from the Island of Sodor. Each video is accompanied by humorous sports-style commentary analyzing events as they happen.
  • Classic Songs: Favorite songs from the original Live Action television series set to new CG animation.
  • Mr. Perkins’ Story Time: Everyone’s favorite Thomas & Friends driver returns to narrate classic tales from the classic Railway Series storybooks.
The launch of the new content continues a year of celebration for Thomas & Friends around the world in 2015 as the brand celebrates its 70th anniversary with new content, partnerships and activations around the globe.

You can find the YouTube Kids app in Google Play and iTunes.

February 23, 2015

Jurassic World Movie Trailer and Photos #JurassicWorld

As as person who enjoys movies, I've watched a lot of dinosaur movies over the years. Hands down a few of the best are the Jurassic Park series. From the storyline to the dinosaurs each movie gets better and better.

So I know that the upcoming Jurassic World movie will be awesome, and not just cause Chris Pratt is in it!

Jurassic World Movie Trailer and Photos

Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the long-awaited next installment of his groundbreaking Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World. Jurassic World will be released in 3D by Universal Pictures on June 12, 2015.

Jurassic World Movie Trailer and Photos
Jurassic World Movie Trailer and Photos
Jurassic World Movie Trailer and Photos

Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, BD Wong, Judy Greer

Check out the trailer. Yes you'll see more of Chris Pratt

Colin Trevorrow directs the epic action-adventure from a screenplay he wrote with Derek Connolly. Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley join the team as producers.

Can't wait for the movie release? Join me and follow the countdown via the website on www.JurassicWorld.com 

Giveaway: Dunkin’ Donuts Refill Travel Mug Prize

Did you hear about the Dunkin’ Donuts’ New Refill Travel Mug program? With the travel mug, DD customers in the Metro NY* area can purchase an extra-large Hot or medium Iced Coffee for just $1.49. Since we have a few more weeks of winter weather, I'm looking forward to those hot cups of beverages to keep me warm!

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But hurry and get the refill travel mugs now since the program runs from February 17 through April 30 in Metro NY* and the mug will ONLY be available via coupon insert and cannot be purchased in stores.

Also, mugs are available while supplies last. So like I said, hurry if you want to get one!

Once you have your mug, find the nearest DD store by visiting - www.DunkinDonuts.com

Like on Facebook - www.facebook.com/DunkinDonuts
Follow on Twitter - www.twitter.com/DunkinNYTri

Don't have a DD near you? Then enter this giveaway for a DD Refill Travel Mug prize


Dunkin Donuts Refill Travel Mug Prize
  • Two Dunkin’ Donuts Refill Travel Mugs
  • $25 Dunkin’ Donuts mGift
  • One Pound of Original Blend Coffee
  • Two Dunkin’ Donuts T-Shirts
  • One Dunkin’ Donuts Umbrella


Entries must be made on or before 11:59 p.m. March 7, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

Winner will be selected by random.org. Giveaway entry must be completed before extra entries will count. Winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to residents of the U.S. with a valid street address.

The First Years WTF Video Contest for Unique Families

Is your family expecting a new baby or have become new parents recently? Has this made your family different than all the others on the block? Then grab your smart phone and get ready to share on video your story (100 words or less) about what makes your family unique and special.

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After filming your video get ready to enter The First Years® “Welcome to The Family” (WTF!) video contest! If you’re chosen as one of the winning families you’ll score an Apple® iPad® Air 2 and a huge collection of baby products (value: $2,000), plus a $5,000 savings bond for documenting your wild ride.

Up to twenty finalists will be named on March 12, then it's up to voting for which fantastic, fun, frenetic families will be chosen to document their amazing journey. Up to five families will be chosen to win awesome prizes and star in an exclusive web series that airs this June.

Could your family be one of them? Don't miss out! Contest entry ends March 1, 2015, so grab your camera, get rolling and head over to www.family.thefirstyears.com

February 19, 2015

Teaching My Son's Class Chinese New Year & McDonalds "Year of the Goat" Giveaway #YearoftheGoat #CNY15

Each February my son and I get ready to enjoy celebrating Chinese New Year with our diverse community of Asian friends. This year we decided to share activities who those who didn't know much about Asian culture and *gasp* Chinese New Year. Which meant my son's first grade class.

Teaching My Son's Class Chinese New Year and McDonald's Year of the Goat

Note: I received a McDonald's package for Chinese New Year but was not required to blog about it. No other compensation was received. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

To help my son's 1st grade class get ready for Chinese New Year, I thought it would be fun to decorate the class room with Chinese New Year elements. A big part of getting ready is decorating to attract good luck, health and money in the New Year.

Chinese New Year 2015 and McDonald's Year of the Goat

As it happens, a few weeks earlier the McDonald's Tri-State team sent a package to help us get ready to celebrate the Year of the Goat 2015. Our package included a few of their 2015 Lunar Calendars, which I thought would be perfect to hang in my son's class room.

Chinese New Year 2015 and McDonald's Year of the Ram

But I also needed a few other things to share with the kids. So I visited our NYC Chinatown to pick up a few more items. While there I found some stuff for my son's class including.....

Red Streamers - Red is considered the luckiest color in China, and it is widely used during festivals and important events like wedding.

Chinese New Year 2015 and McDonald's Year of the Ram

Lanterns - I chose mini lanterns to hang around the class room. The lanterns themselves are used to ward off bad spirits (or intentions).

Chinese New Year 2015 and McDonald's Year of the Ram

Money Envelopes - I found these adorable envelopes used to give gifts of money for the new year to kids. I could have gotten red but I thought the purple was better for the class of kids. Plus it has an adorable goat design on the front.

Inside each envelope we put in a McDonald's coupon for a free happy meal. There's a specific reason why and I'll tell you more about this in a bit.

Chinese New Year 2015 and McDonald's Year of the Ram

And the grand decoration item The Dancing Dragon - I found this dragon that had an attachment you could hold and make him (or her) "dance". The Chinese Dragon is a symbol of power, strength, and good luck. The dragon dance is often performed during Chinese New Year, therefore the longer the dragon dances, the more luck it will bring to the community.

Chinese New Year 2015 and McDonald's Year of the Ram

Now back to why I gave my son's class a free happy meal coupon in each envelope. During Chinese New Year giving gifts is part of the celebration. Good gifts include fruits like oranges and tangerines because of their color. In Chinese culture the color orange symbolizes wealth and good fortune.

Chinese New Year 2015 and McDonald's Year of the Ram

Have you noticed that McDonald’s Happy Meals currently includes Cuties as the latest fresh fruit choice?

While those golden cuties (fresh fruit option) are at McDonald's for a limited time (December to March which is peak season for the fruit), they're perfect for the kids to enjoy while celebrating Chinese New Year over the winter school break.

Chinese New Year 2015 and McDonald's Year of the Ram

Clementine is a popular fruit among children of all ages and during lunar new year celebrations as traditional symbols of abundance and good fortune.

You see what I did there : ) I gave the kids both a healthy snack and a Chinese culture connection!

My son's teachers were so excited when I dropped of the items. They really appreciated my interest in sharing about a different culture with the class.

As a parent of a half Asian child (Korean not Chinese) I was really touched that my son's teachers were open to this idea.

From my family, my son's first grade class and the McDonald's Tri-State team, we wish you a Happy Year of the Goat.

To learn more about McDonald's initiatives in the Asian community, visit www.myinspirasian.com

Chinese New Year 2015 and McDonald's Year of the Ram

We'd love if you joined us to celebrate the Chinese New Year, so I'm offering a special McDonald's giveaway!


McDonald's Tri-State Chinese Year of the Goat Prize
  • Year of the Goat Calendar
  • Happy Meal Coupons
  • McDonald's Meals Coupons
  • McDonald's T-shirt


Entries must be made on or before 11:59 p.m. February 28, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

Winner will be selected by random.org. Giveaway entry must be completed before extra entries will count. Winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to residents of the U.S. with a valid street address.

February 17, 2015

Giveaway: Sesame Street Art and Video Maker Apps

Sesame Street Art Maker and Sesame Street Video Maker have debuted and will join Elmo’s Monster Maker, which also debuted this month with special themed content for the Spring. These two apps are part of the new Sesame Street Maker Series, a collection of apps that foster creativity and encourage expression in young children.

Sesame Workshop New Sesame Street Art Maker and Video Maker Apps

“Being smart is about so much more than knowing letters and numbers. It’s about being smart in every way, solving problems and thinking creatively. The Sesame Street Maker Series is about having fun and getting creative while building appreciation of the arts,” said Scott Chambers, Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President, Worldwide Media Distribution. “Whether painting with Elmo or rocking out with Cookie, children and their families will have a blast interacting with their favorite Sesame Street characters and then sharing the experience.”

Sesame Street Art Maker App

Sesame Street Art Maker inspires little artists with a variety of canvases featuring Sesame Street characters and over 100 life-like art tools, stickers, and sequins. While children create their works of art, Elmo and Cookie Monster offer encouraging comments.

With updates throughout the year, canvases change to match the seasons and holidays. For even more options, expansion kits with fun themes are available for purchase. Users can join the Art Maker Challenge, which offers new suggestions or ideas for creating a picture. Once a picture is made, it can be sent to Sesame Street, and may be included in the art gallery on www.sesamestreet.org

Sesame Street Art Maker is available for $4.99 from the App Store

Sesame Street Video Maker App

Sesame Street Video Maker will have children starring in a video with their favorite Sesame Street friends! Parents and kids will love recording themselves rocking out to Sesame Street music videos, and then adding on fun stickers and effects.

Video content includes topics such as healthy habits, counting, and self-confidence. The app features three songs, plus one additional free Spanish download. The videos are personalized mash-ups that can be shared with family and friends. Sesame Street Video Maker also has a Spanish mode.

Sesame Street Video Maker is available for $2.99 from the App Store

PBS KIDS and Sesame Street The Cookie Thief

In a continuation of the art theme, PBS KIDS and Sesame Street will premiere an all new one-hour special on February 16, 2015.

In “The Cookie Thief,” a cookie art museum has just opened on Sesame Street. Surrounded by beautiful cookie paintings like “Girl with the Cookie Earring” and the “Muncha Lisa,” Cookie Monster and his friends feel like they’re in a whole new world. But when art suddenly starts to disappear, Cookie Monster quickly becomes a suspect.

Can Cookie Monster clear his name? Will they find the missing art in time, or will Cookie Monster be banished from the museum forever?

“The Cookie Thief” is a fun, action-packed special in which Cookie Monster explores self-regulation concepts – such as impulse control, following directions, and managing emotions.

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street which reaches 156 million children across more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help all children reach their highest potential.

For more information, visit www.sesameworkshop.org

Would you like to try out one of these new Sesame Street Maker Apps with your child? Then enter this giveaway to win a download code.

  • (1) Sesame Street Art Maker App Code for iPhone/iPad


Entries must be made on or before 11:59 p.m. February 27, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

Winner will be selected by random.org. Giveaway entry must be completed before extra entries will count. Winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to residents of the U.S. with a valid street address.

February 16, 2015

Disney FROZEN FEVER Short Featurette #FrozenFever #Cinderella

Like everyone else who saw the movie Frozen, we thought it was awesome and hope to see more of the characters again. Well some of our wait is over!

Disney FROZEN FEVER Short Featurette

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ all-new short “FROZEN FEVER,” which welcomes Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf back to the big screen, will open in theaters on March 13, 2015, in front of Disney’s CINDERELLA, a live-action feature inspired by the classic fairy tale.

Disney FROZEN FEVER Short Featurette

In “Frozen Fever,” it's Anna's birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but Elsa's icy powers may put more than just the party at risk.

Disney FROZEN FEVER Short Featurette
Disney FROZEN FEVER Short Featurette

Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, and produced by Peter Del Vecho and Aimee Scribner, with an all-new original song by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, “Frozen Fever” marks the first project reuniting the Oscar®-winning original team from Disney’s “Frozen.”

To learn more about the short, watch Frozen Fever – “A Special Look at Frozen Fever” Featurette

Once you've gotten your Frozen mini fix then sit back and get ready to enjoy “CINDERELLA” the real life movie version.

Disney Cinderella Movie

Movie Synopsis:

A live-action feature inspired by the classic fairy tale, “Cinderella” brings to life the timeless images from Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece as fully-realized characters in a visually-dazzling spectacle for a whole new generation.

The film stars Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter. Directed by Kenneth Branagh from a screenplay by Chris Weitz, “Cinderella” is produced by Simon Kinberg, Allison Shearmur and David Barron.

To learn more about CINDERELLA, visit - www.disney.com/Cinderella

Like CINDERELLA on Facebook - www.facebook.com/Cinderella

Follow CINDERELLA on Twitter - www.twitter.com/CinderellaMovie

Which one of the Frozen movie characters are you excited to see again?

Giveaway: CHALK Preschool Online 1-Year Scholarship

Realizing that children’s understanding of technology has exploded, the founders of Chalk Preschools, a group of educational brick-and-mortar locations within Chicago and Los Angeles, developed CHALK Online a fun, affordable and accessible digital learning environment.

CHALK Online Preschool affordable and accessible digital learning environment

Chalk is one of the first online children’s edutainment programs created on and in the classroom. The Chalk Online team spent nearly 3 years and almost 100 hours with children and teachers in their schools to create the Chalk experience at a fraction of the cost of their traditional program.

CHALK Preschool Online has debuted with over 500 entertainment and learning videos, broken down into three main categories: Daily Lessons, CHALK-U-Tainment, and Hands-On Activities.

CHALK Online Preschool affordable and accessible digital learning environment

A supplement to preschool learning, the comprehensive curriculum will reinforce core subjects including literacy, math, science, and music, as well as offer hands-on art, healthy cooking lessons, exercise demos, and more.

Specialized programming includes two original 30 minute series, "CHALK-Lets" and "What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up," hosted by young star Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), who interviews everyone from Master Lego builder David Howard to Nancy Cartwright - the voice of Bart Simpson.

There is also a fully-customizable playlist so that parents can focus on specific topics of interest or need. The subscription-based CHALK Preschool Online will be offered at $11.95 per month.

To learn more about CHALK Preschool Online, visit - www.chalkpreschoolonline.com
On Facebook - www.facebook.com/ChalkPreschool
On Twitter - www.twitter.com/chalkpreschool

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Would you like to use CHALK Preschool Online with your child? Then enter this giveaway for a complimentary one-year scholarship ($145 value).

  • (1) CHALK Preschool Online 1-year scholarship

Entries must be made on or before 11:59 p.m. February 23, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

Winner will be selected by random.org. Giveaway entry must be completed before extra entries will count. Winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to residents of the U.S. with a valid street address.

Disney's CINDERELLA Movie Trailer & Walt Disney World Sweepstakes #Cinderella

One of the most know well know Disney princess stories is Cinderella. It's been told and retold in so many ways, including my favorite remake (to date) with Brandy and Whitney Houston.

Disney Cinderella Movie

Now once again the story of “Cinderella” is being retold in a new and refreshing way when Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures "CINDERELLA" opens in theaters on March 13, 2015

Disney's CINDERELLA Movie Photos

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures “CINDERELLA” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother.

Disney's CINDERELLA Movie Photos

Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family.

Disney's CINDERELLA Movie Photos

Soon, she is forced to become their servant, disrespected, covered in ashes and spitefully renamed Cinderella. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her, and she continues to remain positive, determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.”

Disney's CINDERELLA Movie Photos

When Ella meets a dashing stranger in the woods, unaware that he is really the Prince (Richard Madden) and not merely Kit, an apprentice at the palace, she believes she has finally found a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the King (Derek Jacobi) summons all maidens in the kingdom to attend a royal ball at the palace, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit. Alas, her Stepmother forbids her to attend and callously destroys her dress.

Disney's CINDERELLA Movie Photos

Meanwhile, the calculating Grand Duke (Stellan Skarsgård) devises a plan to thwart the Prince’s hopes of reuniting with Ella and enlists the support of the devious Stepmother.

Disney's CINDERELLA Movie Photos

Disney's CINDERELLA Movie Photos

But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand. Soon, a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin, a few mice and a magic wand, changes Cinderella’s life forever.

Watch the trailer to see the movie in action.

While waiting for CINDERELLA to open in theaters, make sure to enter the Walt Disney World Sweepstakes.

CINDERELLA Walt Disney World Sweepstakes

In honor of Disney’s CINDERELLA, opening in theatres everywhere on March 13th, you can enter for your chance to win a 5-day, 4-night enchanting vacation for four to the Walt Disney World® Resort, including one special night in the Cinderella Castle Suite!

The sweepstakes ends 3/27/15 and to enter you must be 13+ and a resident of US or CA (excluding Quebec). Limit one (1) Entry per day, per person. There is only one (1) prize available to be won. Entry/Full Official Rules: http://di.sn/6009IaAB. Void where prohibited.

To learn more about CINDERELLA, visit - www.disney.com/Cinderella

Like CINDERELLA on Facebook - www.facebook.com/Cinderella

Follow CINDERELLA on Twitter - www.twitter.com/CinderellaMovie

Have you seen any of the Cinderella movies? Which one is your favorite?

Sesame Street: The Best of Elmo 3 DVD

We're big fans of Elmo so we're looking forward to the release of Sesame Street: The Best of Elmo 3 on DVD ($14.98 SRP) and digital on March 3, 2015 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street.

Sesame Street: The Best of Elmo 3 DVD

The Best of Elmo 3 DVD will be a trip down memory lane, where Elmo will teach fans both young and old about the importance of friendship and helping others. Elmo sings and dances his way through numbers, letters, vocabulary, and emotions with his Sesame Street pals and a few famous friends like Melissa McCarthy, Taye Diggs, Drew Brees, Romeo Santos, and many more!

“With such great response from the release of Sesame Street: The Best of Elmo 2, Warner Home Bros. Home Entertainment is thrilled to release the next edition, Sesame Street: The Best of Elmo 3,” said Jeff Brown, WBHE Executive Vice President and GM of Non-Theatrical Franchise Marketing. “Kids now have the opportunity to see their favorite TV character’s most memorable segments all on one fantastic DVD.”

This special collection is filled with Elmo moments fans will treasure. As an added extra, this release features a special bonus title which will provide over two hours of Elmo!

February 14, 2015

WWE & Alicia Fox Celebrate Black History Month #WWEMoms #BlackHistory

One of the things I like about the WWE (besides The Rock) is the fact that it supports all races, cultures and genders of wrestlers. As if that's not impressive enough, the WWE also lets it's wrestlers share their voices on issues that are important to them.

In connection with Black History Month, the WWE reached out to share Alicia Fox, WWE Diva and star of Total Divas, thoughts about Black History Month.

WWE and Alicia Fox Celebrate Black History Month

Note: I'm part of the WWE #WWEMoms Ambassador Program and will share information about their activities and products. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

Black History Month blog by Alicia Fox

Black History Month is a time to celebrate freedom and the differences in individuals. There are moments of bravery to celebrate all year, however, during February we acknowledge the strength of great thinkers who inspired change in America. For me, those leaders cross the racial divide. It is not about being black or white. Leaders that include Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, have taught us that the freedom of speech, the freedom to love, and the freedom to be you is a right, and it is a beautiful thing that we are able to share these freedoms with one another.

WWE and Alicia Fox Celebrate Black History Month

The power of communication is part of these freedoms today; everyone can give their thoughts and words to the world through technology. The younger generation can especially benefit from conveying their opinions and thoughts on a global scale. They can connect and share information with each other and change the world. Connecting on a global scale encourages a young mind to explore different cultures and perspectives. I’ve met so many intelligent children who are interested in exploring possibilities and benefit from working together. No one has time for racial discrimination.

These great leaders, as well as my own mother, have inspired me and molded my life. I’ve been taught that my words have power, and that if I believe in myself and my abilities, I can inspire others to believe in themselves. The great leaders I mentioned inspire me to use my words as tools to improve the world. There’s never a time to stop learning, because there’s never time to stop dreaming or striving to achieve lifelong goals. The secret is to respect yourself, embrace the person you are, and be proud! Many legends before believed in a future with endless opportunities, so they fought for us, in order to build a tomorrow.

Thank you Alicia Fox for sharing your thoughts! To learn more about Alicia Fox, visit - www.wwe.com/divas/aliciafox

As if that's not awesome enough, the WWE also shared this video tribute celebrating the life and achievements of Dr. King.

Its actions like these that make me proud to be a WWEMom! Thank you WWE for supporting Black families and Black History Month.

To learn more about the WWE , visit - www.wwe.com

Review: Real Fruit Dipped in DOVE Dark Chocolate #DOVEwithRealFruit

Like many of you, I enjoy a good snack. All the better if it's covered in chocolate. So when I received the new Real Fruit Dipped in DOVE® Dark Chocolate, I couldn't wait to "review" them. Any by review I totally mean eat.

Real Fruit Dipped in DOVE Dark Chocolate

Note: I received product sample for review purpose. No other compensation was received. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

These new Real Fruit Dipped in DOVE® Dark Chocolate are delicious! How could they not be since it's perfect combination - Real Fruit and America’s #1 DOVE® Dark Chocolate.

Real Fruit Dipped in DOVE Dark Chocolate

I received (and enjoyed) Cranberries and Cherries Dipped In DOVE® Dark Chocolate. Both were fresh and not to sweet. They matched the DOVE Dark Chocolate nicely. Sometimes dark chocolate has a deep and slightly bitter taste. Not this time. It was smooth and rich tasting.

Not only do these taste good but there's also a health perk! Did you know that Dark chocolate is the fastest growing category in confections due to its potential health and wellness benefits,
and fruit is the fastest growing snacking category. Score!

Real Fruit Dipped in DOVE Dark Chocolate

So I highly recommend that you try a bag (or two) of these new Real Fruit Dipped in DOVE® Dark Chocolate. They come in three varieties of real fruit – that are the top-selling fruits on the market
  • Cranberries Dipped In DOVE® Dark Chocolate
  • Cherries Dipped In DOVE® Dark Chocolate
  • Blueberries Dipped In DOVE® Dark Chocolate


$1.99-$2.59: 2.83 oz. Sharing Size in Cranberry and Blueberry
$3.59-$4.79: 6.0 oz. Small Stand-Up Pouch in all three flavors
$10.89: 26 oz. Stand-Up Pouch in Cranberry and Cherry

For More information on Real Fruit Dipped in DOVE® Dark Chocolate, visit www.DOVEChocolate.com

New York International Children's Film Festival 2015 & Tickets Discount Code #NYICFF

This year the New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival runs February 27-March 22 at New York’s DGA Theater, IFC Center, Scholastic Theater, SVA Theatre, and Village East Cinema.

New York International Children's Film Festival 2015

Now in its 18th year, the Festival is the nation’s largest for children and teens and will present ­all new animated, live action, documentary, and experimental shorts and features from approximately 35 countries.

Exclusive discount code for The Mommy Factor readers: get $2 off each ticket!

For the first time in 2015, the Festival is presenting two new films as each of its Opening Night and Closing Day programs. To get tickets and see the full schedule, visit - www.gkids.com

The 2015 edition includes four weeks of groundbreaking and thought-provoking new films for ages 3-18. Highlights include US and North American feature film premieres of Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There (Japan), BBC’s Enchanted Kingdom 3D (UK), Mune (France), and Moomins on the Riviera (France), the US premiere of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet (Various Countries), the east coast premiere of the new Aardman feature Shaun the Sheep the Movie (UK), six Oscar®-qualifying short film programs, Best of Aardman Shorts, a collection of four decades of short films from Aardman Animations, and a special program of Nick Park’s Wallace & Gromit Shorts.

The Festival will culminate in the Closing Night Celebration, which will include the announcement of the 2015 award winners and a special program of the Best of the Fest short films.

SHORT FILM PROGRAMS – The Festival’s wildly popular short film programs showcase the best short films from around the world, selected from over 3,000 entries. Jury-selected winners will be eligible for Oscar® consideration in animated and live action short film categories. Featured in this year’s lineup are Me and My Moulton (Torill Kove, Short Films One) and A Single Life (Job, Joris, & Marieke, Short Films Two), both nominated for best animated short film at the 2015 Academy Awards®. The Dam Keeper (Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, Short Films Two 2014), which won its first award at last year’s Festival (Audience Award, ages 8-14), is also nominated in the same category.
  • Shorts For Tots – (Ages 3 to 6)
  • Short Films One – (Ages 5 to 10)
  • Short Films Two – (Ages 8 to 14)
  • Flicker Lounge: For Teens & Adults Only – (Ages 12 to adult)
  • Heebie Jeebies: Spooky, Freaky & Bizarre – (Ages 10 to adult)
  • Girls’ POV – (Ages 10 to adult) Girls’ POV is presented with support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®


SHAUN THE SHEEP THE MOVIE - East Coast Premiere, Animation, UK, Mark Burton/Richard Starzack; No Dialogue.

The newest film from stop-motion maestros, Aardman Animations – a grass-fed, farm-to-screen adventure brimming with humor, charm, and wit. Shaun the Sheep, the woolly stop-motion star whose vocal range is limited to bleats and baas, first appeared in Nick Park’s 1995 Oscar®-winning Wallace and Gromit adventure. In his first feature film, Shaun tires of the everyday routine on Mossy Bottom Farm and concocts a plan to lead his flock in rebellion.

Recommended all ages

WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE – North American Premiere, Animation, Japan, Hiromasa Yonebayashi; In Japanese with English subtitles.

The newest feature from Japan’s famed Studio Ghibli is a sweeping story of friendship, mystery, and discovery that delivers stirring emotions and breathtaking animation as only Ghibli can. When shy, artistic Anna moves to the seaside to live with her aunt and uncle, she stumbles upon an old mansion surrounded by marshes, and the mysterious young girl, Marnie, who lives there. The two girls instantly form a unique connection and friendship that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality.

Recommended ages: 9 to adult


ENCHANTED KINGDOM 3D – North American Premiere, Documentary, UK, Patrick Morris/Neil Nightingale; In English.

The creators of BBC’s groundbreaking Walking with Dinosaurs 3D and Earth take us on a spell-binding journey through seven realms of with extraordinary timelapse photography. Sweeping aerial shots and macro and micro lensed 3D, propel us from enchanted forests to the boiling edge of the underworld, from celestial ice-capped mountains and lava-spewing volcanoes to crashing waterfalls and deep fantastical seas. Narrated by Idris Elba.

Recommended ages: 6 to adult

KAHLIL GIBRAN’S THE PROPHET – US Premiere, Animation, Various Countries, Roger Allers; In English.

The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran, is among the most popular volumes of poetry ever written, selling over 100 million copies in forty languages since its publication in 1923. The timeless verses have been given enchanting new form in this painterly cinematic adventure about freedom and the power of human expression. Written and directed by Roger Allers (The Lion King), the film intersperses Gibran’s elegant verses with stunning animated sequences by Festival favorite filmmakers Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), Bill Plympton (Guide Dog), and a host of award-winning animators from around the world. Featuring the voices of Liam Neeson, Salma Hayak, and Quvenzhané Wallis, and music from Damien Rice, Glen Hansard, and Yo-Yo Ma.

Recommended ages: 7 to adult


BEST OF AARDMAN SHORTS – Animation, UK, Various Directors; In English.

This brilliant collection of short films includes the Academy Award® winning Creature Comforts, Festival Grand Prize winner Humdrum, plus Morph, Rex the Runt, Shaun the Sheep and other mini masterpieces spanning four decades of creative output from Nick Park, Peter Lord, Richard Starzack, Peter Peake, Chris Sadler and the stop-motion geniuses at Aardman Animations. These inspired creations embody the best of Aardman’s slyly subversive wit and expressive style.

Recommended ages: 8 to adult

THE KING AND THE MOCKINGBIRD – Animation, France, Paul Grimault; Screening both in English and French with English subtitles.

A newly restored print of Paul Grimault’s gloriously imaginative animated masterwork, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep.” This French animated gem originally began production in the late 1940s, but wasn’t completed until 1980. It has been mired in rights issues ever since, which prevented its release in the US until now.

Recommended ages: 5 to adult

WALLACE & GROMIT SHORTS – Special Program, Animation, UK, Nick Park; in English.

Celebrate the 25th birthday of Nick Park’s absent minded, cheese-loving inventor Wallace and his faithful canine companion Gromit. Nick Park began work on A Grand Day Out as a student project, completing it after joining Aardman in 1985. Program includes A Grand Day Out and Nick Park’s next two Wallace & Gromit films, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave, both of which earned Oscars® and secured Wallace & Gromit a place as a UK national treasure and one of the most beloved animated duos of all times.

Recommended ages: 5 to adult


BALLET BOYS – Documentary, Norway, Kenneth Elvebakk; In Norwegian with English subtitles.

Ballet Boys takes us through four years in the lives of three young dancers. The only boy dancers in a world of girls, they strive to get into Norway’s most prestigious ballet academy. Beautifully constructed, slow-motion dance sequences and life-altering auditions provide a pulse of drama throughout their journey, but the film is ultimately the story of their friendship, disappointments, victories, first loves, dreams, and doubts.

Recommended ages: 9 to adult

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN – New York Premiere, Live Action, France, Nicolas Vanier; In French with English subtitles.

A story of friendship, courage, and loyalty set against the jaw-dropping scenery and alpine panoramas of the Haute Maurienne-Vanoise region of France. Sebastian lives with his grandfather, César, in a vertiginous mountain village, where he crosses paths with a giant and dirty Pyrenean Mountain Dog who the locals have dubbed “the Beast” for allegedly killing their livestock. But Sebastian sees something good in the misunderstood canine and befriends the animal, renaming her “Belle.” Their budding friendship is put to the test when Nazis march into town looking to root out a band of resistance fighters who are guiding Jewish refugees to neighboring Switzerland.

Recommended ages: 7 to adult

HOCUS POCUS ALFIE ATKINS – East Coast Premiere, Animation, Norway, Torril Kove; In English.

Academy Award® winning director Torill Kove’s first feature film is a refreshingly warm and intimate tale based on beloved children’s book character Alfie Atkins. Seven-year-old Alfie dreams of owning a dog, but his father insists that he is too small for such a big responsibility. Undaunted, Alfie finds an unlikely ally in George, a kindly magician who performs tricks for the neighborhood kids and has just adopted a puppy of his own. Lovingly animated with thoughtful, honest character interactions, Hocus Pocus offers an emotionally and visually rich cinema experience for audiences of all ages.

Recommended ages: 3 to 8

JELLYFISH EYES – Live Action/Animation, Japan, Takashi Murakami; In Japanese with English subtitles.

Pop art superstar Takashi Murakami makes his feature film debut with a campy, genre-defying adventure that mixes lo-fi Japanese disaster movie, new kid-on-the-block coming-of-age story, and Pokémon-style anime with a delirious abundance of wonderfully imagined magical creatures. Setting Murukami’s fantastical animated designs in an otherwise live action film, Jellyfish Eyes tells the story of Masashi, a young boy who moves to a sleepy town in the Japanese countryside in the wake of a natural disaster.

Recommended ages: 9 to adult

LANDFILLHARMONIC – East Coast Premiere, Documentary, USA, Brad Allgood/Graham Townsley; In Spanish with English subtitles.

The world generates over a billion tons of garbage a year, much of it ending up in poor rural communities like Cateura, Paraguay, where over 2,000 families survive by separating garbage for recycling. When a teen music program there can’t afford new instruments, a garbage picker named Cola fashions a violin from an empty oil tin – thus inspiring the Recycled Orchestra. The film follows the young musicians as they reach even greater heights, performing concerts in the US, Europe, and Asia – even sharing the stage with heavy metal super-group, Metallica.

Recommended ages: 8 to adult

LOU! – US Premiere, Live Action, France, Julien Neel; In French with English subtitles.

Twelve-and-a-half-year-old Lou lives alone with her absurdly immature mother, Emma. Her mom has been in a funk lately, eating junk food in her pajamas, playing video games, and generally behaving more like a teen than her on-the-cusp-of-adolescence daughter. But all this changes with arrival of the new bohemian neighbor, Richard, who ignites her goofy mother’s romantic interests. Neel has turned the French comic and animated TV series into a quirky, mom and daughter buddy movie, with vibrant and brilliantly kitschy bubble-gum production design and plenty of cringe-worthy, awkward comedic situations.

Recommended ages: 8 to adult

MOOMINS ON THE RIVIERA – North American Premiere, Animation, Finland/France, Xavier Picard; in English.

Sixty years ago, when Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson launched the Moomin comic strip, little did she know it would reach 20 million daily readers in more than 40 countries. In celebration of her 100th birthday, French director Xavier Picard brings Jansson’s carefree and adventurous Moomin family to life, with delicately animated characters set within beautifully designed and colored backgrounds, and the comic’s traipsing storylines translated to the screen with just the right amount of absurdity and humor.

Recommended ages: 5 to 10

MUNE (3D) – North American Premiere, Animation, France, Alexandre Heboyan/Benoît Phillippon; In English.

A world of wonder, magic and mythology is the setting in this sumptuously animated CGI adventure about a land divided between the realms of day and night. As legend has it, the first Guardian of the Sun threw a harpoon into the cosmos and roped the sun to bring light and warmth to all of humanity. Then the Guardian of the Moon lured the moon to the Land of Darkness to provide a balance to the sun and supply the world with dreams. At a momentous ceremony to appoint the two new guardians, an accident seems to occur; the heir apparent is passed over, and the title Guardian of the Moon is bestowed on the waif-like Mune, a small and frightened forest faun who seems wholly unprepared to take on such a weighty responsibility.

Recommended ages: 5 to adult

SATELLITE GIRL AND MILK COW – New York Premiere, Animation, South Korea, Chang Hyung-yun; In Korean with English subtitles.

Festival award-winning Wolf Daddy director Chang Hyung-yun has created a wholly original, exuberantly outrageous, sci-fi love story unlike anything before it. An orbiting, out-of-commission female satellite picks up a lovelorn pop song on its radio antenna and descends to Earth to try to discover who could be the source of such heartfelt emotions. On the way, it is transformed into the titular Satellite Girl, complete with Astroboy-like rocket shoes and weapon-firing limbs, while the balladeer in question — a loser twenty-something playing at an open mic in a coffee shop — meets the fate that befalls all broken-hearted lovers: he is turned into a farm animal (albeit one who can walk around in a poorly-fitting human suit).

Recommended ages: 8 to adult

SECRETS OF WAR – New York Premiere, Live Action, Netherlands, Dennis Bots; In Dutch with English subtitles.

Netherlands, 1943. Best friends Tuur and Lambert spend their time dreaming up adventures and discovering secret passages in the caves and forests that surround their close-knit village. Homemade wooden pistols serve as props in their playful war games, as they make light of the conflict that is building all around them. When new girl Maartje enters their social circle, the boys’ friendship faces a challenge typical of adolescence – and Lambert begins to feel more and more like the third wheel. Secrets of War, with its lush backdrops and strong emotional performances from three young leads, expertly balances the universality of shifting young friendships with the moral complexity of war.

Recommended ages: 9 to adult

WOLFY, THE INCREDIBLE SECRET – US Premiere, Animation, Belgium/France, Grégoire Solotareff/Eric Omond; in English.

Though they’re from opposite ends of the food chain, Wolfy and Tom (a wolf and rabbit, respectively) are best friends. Wolfy has always believed he was an orphan, until one day a gypsy tells him that his mother is still alive in the distant dynasty of Wolfenberg, Land of the Wolves. Despite his fear, Tom agrees to accompany his friend as they venture far from their peaceful countryside home. They arrive in the midst of Carne Festival— a grand meeting of the world’s most renowned carnivores — and Wolfy’s quest for self-discovery quickly turns into Tom’s quest for survival. This beautifully animated film is based on the wildly popular French children’s book series LouLou from writer and director Grégoire Solotareff.

Recommended ages: 5 to 10

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