The Croods: The New Age Blu-ray Review & Giveaway #CroodsNewAge


 The first prehistoric family is ready for another rocking adventure! The Croods have survived fanged beasts, natural disasters, and even young love, but now they must face their biggest challenge yet: another family! In search of a new home, the Croods discover a walled-in paradise created by the sophisticated Betterman family (emphasis on the “better”). As they try to coexist, the differences between the two families escalate into a full-blown feud, but when a new threat forces both families to embark on an epic adventure, they must all learn to work together...or they’ll all go extinct! Available to own on Digital now and on 4K Ultra-HD, Blu-ray and DVD on February 23rd, 2021.


MY REVIEW

 It's been seven long years since we last saw our favourite cave family, The Croods, Guy, and Belt. We had the pleasure of reviewing the first movie, The Croods back in 2013, so I jumped at the chance to get the family together for another movie night to watch the sequel, The Croods: The New Age. 

The first scene we're introduced to is from Guy's past where we see how his parents passed away. We see him meet Belt for the first time and see that Belt was first named Watch because he was first wrapped around Guy's wrist. From there we're back with the rest of the family in the present and see that they're still trying to find a home to call their own and are still trying to survive. Guy and Eep are still in love with one another and the closer they get, the more Grug seems to worry that his daughter will eventually leave him and the rest of the family to start her own. 

They finally find a place to call their own that is behind a giant wall, to keep them safe, that has plenty of food to keep their bellies full and lots of indoor shelter. They're all super happy and excited to find there, "Tomorrow," as Guy calls it when they meet the actual residents of the place they'd like to call their new home. It so happens to be a family from Guy's past. 

The people from Guy's past are his old neighbors who were like family to him. Throughout the movie, we see the differences between cave and non-cave people. We learn the reason why this walled-in paradise has been safe and protected for so long and what happens when two different types of people come together for the safety of their families. 

This was such a great sequel to the original movie. I really hope we get a part three, but I can tell you 100% that if you were a fan of the first movie, you will absolutely love The Croods: The New Age! 

GIVEAWAY:
With the release of The Croods: The New Age coming out on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD, February 23rd and being available now on digital, we've teamed up with our friends from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to offer one reader a chance to win a copy of The Croods: The New Age on blu-ray! The giveaway is open to readers in both USA and CANADA. To win a copy, comment below who your favourite character is from the movie! 


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received The Croods: The New Age on blu-ray at no cost for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received.

Cozy up for Valentine's Day with Asmodee Canada (Review & Giveaway)

This Valentine's Day is looking a little different this year with us all still being in a pandemic and still staying home. With so many restaurants, movie theatres, and other places being closed for indoor service, how do you plan on spending it? It's time to think of something to do for a creative, fun and, cozy night in. Whether you will be hosting a Galentine's celebration with your roommate, a romantic night in with your significant other, or a fun family game day, Asmodee Canada is bound to add some excitement to your plans!  

Asmodee Canada has tons of great games for you to choose from that may just be what you need to help make your Valentine's Day more fun while still being at home. They offer games that range from just two players to some of the games going up to 6 to 8 players. So you can have a romantic one on one game night with your significant other or a fun-filled family game night. The choice is yours.

We were sent two games for the hubby and me to play together as an activity for us to enjoy on Valentine's Day and we love them both. We received Jaipur, a two-merchant trade game, and Splendor, a competitive, fast-paced 2-4 person game. 



In the game Jaipur, you are one of the two most powerful traders in the city of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, but that’s not enough for you because only the merchant with two “seals of excellence” will have the privilege of being invited to the Maharaja’s court. You are therefore going to have to do better than your direct competitor by buying, exchanging, and selling at better prices, all while keeping an eye on both your camel herds.

Jaipur was such a fun quick-paced game to play with the hubby. The object of the game is to gain more riches than your opponent. In the game, you are collecting cards to sell for goods. When you sell a card you gain one good per card you sell. The goods are worth the numerical value that it states on them. If you sell three or more cards you take the corresponding bonus token that is worth a secret amount. 

On each player's turn, you can either take or sell cards. If you take cards, you have to choose between taking all the camels, taking one card from the market, or swapping 2-5 cards between the market and your cards. At the end of the round, each player counts their goods and the player with the most takes a Seal of Excellence. The first player to receive two Seal of Excellence wins. 

This was such a fun game that had us both on our toes with excitement about who was going to win. I have to admit, the hubby one the first time and I can't wait to play again on Valentine's Day to see if I can win this time.  Jaipur is a two-player game recommended for ages 10+ and retails for $29.99.



Splendor is a fast, elegant, and intuitive game where players compete to build Renaissance Europe’s most lucrative and prestigious jewelry business. You begin by collecting raw gems and use those to fund the development of mines throughout the world. Once you’ve mined more gemstones, you must acquire the means to transport them, artisans to shape them, and finally a storefront where you can sell your polished jewels. The player whose business earns the most prestige wins. 

To start playing Splendor you have tokens, the deck of cards, and the noble tiles. The tokens each represent a jewel type, there white for diamonds, green for emeralds, red for rubies, blu for sapphire, and black for onyx and the yellow token is called the joker. Next are the cards, which are divided into three colours, each representing how expensive they are, green is very cheap, yellow is affordable, and blue is expensive. In Splendor the object is to gain the tokens to buy the cards in order to get points to win the game.  

We played Splendor with our two teens and it was so much fun. My oldest won and we are all going to have a rematch on Family Day.  Splendor is a 30 minute game for 2 to 4 players 10+ and retails for $44.99.

Asmodee Canada carries a wide variety of board/card games for the entire family to enjoy. Here are a few other games that would be great to play with whoever you're spending Valentine's Day with:

Carcassonne: Carcassonne is the perfect introduction to the modern world of board games. With its simple rules (place a tile, place a meeple, score points), beautifully illustrated tiles, and iconic components, this modern classic should be part of everyone’s collection.
2-5 Players | 35 Minutes | Ages 7+

Catan: Embark on a quest to settle the isle of Catan. Guide your settlers to victory by clever trading and cunning development. Use resource combinations to buy handy development cards and build roads, settlements, and cities. Acquire your resources through trades, cards, or lucky dice. 
3-4 Players | 45-90 Minutes | Ages 10+ 

Patchwork: Patchwork is a light, two-player board game where players are each attempting to piece together a quilt using oddly shaped, tetris-like tiles. 
2 Players  | 30 Minutes | Ages 8+


GIVEAWAY
We've teamed up with our friends at Asmodee Canada to give one lucky reader a chance at winning either Jaipur or Splendor, the choice is yours. Comment below sharing which game you would pick! For more information about the games mentioned and many others, head to Asmodee Canada.


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received the above mentioned products at no cost for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received.

Valentine's Day with BritBox Canada

I can't believe Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Although this year is going to be way different than the last considering we can't go out to restaurants or any other place with our significant other due to COVID-19, but that doesn't mean you can't put together a nice date night at home for the two of you. In fact, that's exactly what I plan on doing this Sunday. The hubby and I have been loving charcuterie boards to snack on while we have our weekly date nights at home. Once the kids are all in bed, we put on a show or movie and start streaming. 



We've shared our thoughts on BritBox Canada with you all over the holidays and I just wanted to mention them again as they have you covered with the gift of great British love stories to binge-watch this Valentine's Day. At $89.99 a year or $8.99 per month, a subscription to BritBox is the gift that gives all year long.

There are tons of great love stories to stream on BritBox Canada, here are a few that would be great to watch this Valentine's Day:


The phenomenon that changed the face of British television forever. This Edwardian drama follows the lives and affairs of the elite Crawley family and the servants who work for them in a time before the last vestige of a century’s old tradition were stripped away by WWI and the modern age.



This massive hit from co-creators James Corden and Ruth Jones is the adorable saga of when Essex boy meets valley girl. Hilarious and tender, the one thing it doesn’t laugh at is love itself.



Wuthering Heights (1978)
Emily Bronte’s unforgettable story of jealousy, revenge and the destructive passion of lovers Heathcliff and Cathy.



Celebrate the 25th anniversary of this award-winning adaptation of Jane Austen's timeless Regency romance, restored in 4K exclusively by BritBox. This classic story of love and class centers on the strong-minded Elizabeth Bennett (Jennifer Ehle), who matches wits with the wealthy, conceited Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth).



Elizabeth Gaskell’s tale of love across social divides is brought to life in Sandy Welch’s four-part adaptation. When Margaret Hale exchanges her middle-class rural life for a northern mill town, she witnesses the hardships of the poor working class firsthand and develops contempt for mill owner John Thornton.



Romola Garai is Jane Austen’s fickle heroine, fatally convinced she is good at matchmaking, but unaware she is playing a dangerous game that might finally force her to grow up.




Lesley Manville (Harlots) stars in this warm comedy as a woman managing the death of her husband and her daft family.


A sparkling modern take on a Shakespeare classic, Russell T Davies' adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream sees a cast of acting royalty and incredible new talent bringing Bard's words to life in this spellbinding adaptation.


Whether you have someone special you're spending this Valentine's with or just hanging out with family and friends in your social bubble, BritBox Canada is available to entertain you with so many amazing British love stories to stream. BritBox Canada is available on Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku®, Apple TV 4th Gen, Samsung, LG, Chromecast, and all iOS and Android devices, as well as online. BritBox is also available on Amazon Prime Video Channels for prime members. Not 100% sold? No worries, you can try BritBox Canada for a week with their introductory free trial period.

Treat yo self this Valentine's day or give the perfect gift without leaving the comfort of your home, a subscription to BritBox. For more information about BritBox, be sure to head to BritBox Canada

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received a 3-month subscription to BritBox at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.
 

The Little Prince Blu-ray Review & Giveaway

 

From the director of Kung Fu Panda comes this critically acclaimed, re-imagined take on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic story. At its heart is “The Little Girl” (Mackenzie Foy), prepared by her mother (Rachel McAdams) for the very grown-up real-world.  After her eccentric, kind-hearted neighbor, “The Aviator” (Jeff Bridges) introduces her to an extraordinary world where anything is possible, she learns of “The Little Prince" (Riley Osborne). And so begins the magical and emotional journey where one learns, amongst other things, it’s the human connections that matter most.

Featuring an all-star voice cast including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Albert Brooks, Paul Rudd, Mackenzie Foy, and Paul Giamatti, The Little Prince debuted on Netflix in 2016.
 
The Little Prince Blu-ray and DVD include a 25-minute featurette on the making of the film, as well as a music video for the song “Turnaround” by Camille.  The Blu-ray additionally includes access to a Digital copy of the film.


MY REVIEW
The Little Prince is such a beautiful story. I remember first seeing it on Netflix back in 2016, but I didn't get a chance to watch it. With the release of the Blu-ray, DVD, and digital this week, my family and I were sent a copy of the blu-ray and the hubby, six-year-old and I sat down for a little movie night last week, and this did not disappoint. Beautifully told this story is an adaption of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s timeless story, The Little Prince. 

The story is about a little girl who is trying to get accepted into the prestigious Werth Academy. After failing her interview, her mother decides that the two of them should move into Werth Academy's school district so that the little girl can study and have another shot at the interview. 

The house that the little girl and her mom move into is next door to a run-down home of an old man who is an ex-aviator. The old man likes to start up his plane in his backyard, which ultimately causes damage to the little girl's new home and puts a big hole on the side of the house. While the little girl is studying one day, the old man befriends her and tells her the story of the little prince. 

This was a gorgeous adaption of the 1943 original novel and I think it was created beautifully. The picture quality was great and we absolutely loved the movie. My six-year-old was glued to the screen the entire time and absolutely loved the friendship between the old man and the little girl. 

GIVEAWAY
We've teamed up with Paramount Home Pictures to offer one reader (USA and CANADA) a chance to win a copy of The Little Prince on blu-ray. To enter the giveaway, comment below sharing what book you would like to be turned into a movie. 


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received The Little Prince on Blu-ray at no cost for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received.

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The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run Blu-ray Review & Giveaway

 


When SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary goes missing, a path of clues leads SpongeBob and Patrick to the powerful King Poseidon, who has Gary held captive in the Lost City of Atlantic City. On their mission to save Gary, SpongeBob and his pals team up for a heroic and hilarious journey where they discover nothing is stronger than the power of friendship.

THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN arrivesd on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and On Demand in Canada on February 2, 2021 from Paramount Home Entertainment. The fun-filled family film will also be available as part of the SpongeBob 3-Movie DVD collection.

The Digital*, Blu-ray and DVD releases are overflowing with an ocean of fun-filled bonus content: Continue the Kamp Koral adventure with young SpongeBob and Patrick in their all-new mini-movie! Plus, check out deleted storyboard scenes, then sing-along and dance with lyric and music videos by Snoop Dogg & Monsta X, Tainy & J. Balvin, and more. Learn to draw young SpongeBob and young Gary with step-by-step activity lessons, then explore behind-the-scenes with the cast, crew and characters of this wildly fun animated movie.


MY REVIEW

Are You Ready Kids? We're back with another review with our favourite friends from Bikini Bottom, this time sharing our thoughts on their latest movie, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run! Plankton is back at it again trying to find a new way to get Mr. Krab's ingredients for his Krabby Patty secret formula. Once the shop is closed he makes his way into the restaurant by sneaking in a pickle jar. He almost gets the secret formula, but Spongebob comes back to the restaurant thinking he left his keys. 

Determined to get the secret formula, Plankton realizes that in order for him to succeed, he needs to get rid of Spongebob. In doing this, he finds a poster from King Poseiden who is fixated on his looks and uses snail slime to keep himself looking young. So Plankton kidnaps Gary, and when Spongebob comes home from work with an empty house, he is heartbroken. He finds the scroll that mentions King Poseiden's want for snails and Spongebob is on a mission to get Gary back. Doing what a best friend does, Patrick is alongside for the ride. 

Realizing that Spongebob is missing and feeling defeated,  Mr. Krabs gives Plankton his secret formula without a fight. Feeling like his victory came too easy, Plankton joins Mr. Krabs, Squidward, and Sandy as they make their way to, The Lost City of Atlantic City, where Spongebob and Patrick are on their way to get Gary back. As they meet up and find King Poseiden, they have to convince them to give Gary back to Spongebob. 

This movie was so much fun to watch. It had something for everyone and kept the attention of both my two teenagers, my six-year-old, and both my hubby and me with lots of humor that kept us all laughing throughout the movie. Not only was the entire movie entertaining for our family, but we also so familiar faces of both Snoop Dogg and Keanu Reeves. Sponge On The Run is a great movie for the entire family to watch and is now available on Blu-ray, digital, DVD, and on-demand. 


GIVEAWAY
In honor of Sponge On The Run now being available for purchase, we've teamed up with our friends at Paramount Home Entertainment to give one lucky winner (Canada only) a chance at winning this Sponge On The Run prize pack that includes the movie, SpongeBob plush toys, and Pineapple House topper, which is pictured below. To enter, comment below sharing your favoruite character from the show. For more information about where to purchase Sponge On The Run head to Paramount Home Entertainment. 


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run on Blu-ray at no cost for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received.

Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axle City Grand Prix DVD Review & Giveaway

Nickelodeon’s Blaze and the Monster Machines are racing back onto DVD in Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axle City Grand Prix. Now available, preschoolers can ride  along with Blaze and his friends as they compete in the Axle City Grand Prix. Blaze and the Monster Machines:  Axle City Grand Prix DVD will be available from Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home  Entertainment for the suggested retail price of $10.99 US and $12.99 CAD. Rev up and roll out! Join Blaze and his friends at the Axle City Grand Prix! The racing doesn’t stop there as we zoom into a Deep Sea Grand Prix, the Bouncing Bull racetrack and round it all out with a race day rescue! 

 MY REVIEW

Rev-Up and Roll Out! We got a chance to review the latest DVD from one of Braxton's shows he's starting to watch more and more, Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axle City Grand Prix on DVD. My little guy loves to play with trucks and cars, so it's no suprise that he's starting to be more interested in Blaze and the Monster Machines show and the characters. He loves watching AJ and Blaze goe on their adventures and loves the other characters as well. I think he's drawn more to Blaze since he's the main character, but he loves all of the trucks that pop up on the screen.

In Axle City Grand Prix we watch as Blaze gets ready for the race and Gabby helps Blaze by making a special remote control, but it ends up getting taken by Crusher, who wants to slow blaze down. He does this by actviating the remote to control machines all over town as obstacles in the way. Throughout this episode we watch as Blaze makes his way through the race and with the help of both AJ and Gabby they manage to get through it. 


GIVEAWAY!
Axle City Grand Prix comes with a total of four episodes on the DVD and is available in stores now. We've teamed up with Paramount Home Entertainment again to offer one of you readers (Canada only) a chance to win a copy of the DVD for your kiddo. To enter, just comment below who your child's favourite character is from Blaze and the Monster Machines! 

Leeeeet's Blaaaaze!!! In celebration of the release of Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axle City Grand Prix, available on DVD, we're excited to share this super fun paper foldable of everyone's favorite Monster Machine! Your kids can make their own Blaze to race around the house.


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received  Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axle City Grand Prix on DVD at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.


Blue’s Clues & You! Blue’s Sing-Along Spectacular DVD Review & Giveaway

 

Blue’s Clues & You! is back onto DVD with four music-filled episodes in the all-new Blue’s Clues & You! Blue’s Sing-Along Spectacular. Available now, fans can join beloved puppy Blue and live-action host Josh (Josh Dela Cruz) as they play Blue’s Clues to learn about different musical instruments, put on a Blue’s Clues Music Concert, start a band and have a dance party. Blue’s Sing-Along Spectacular will have you putting your paws together for Blue, Magenta, The Mailtime Quartet, Slippery Soap, and surprise guest performer – singing sensation Ally Brooke!

 
The Blue’s Clues & You! Blue’s Sing-Along Spectacular DVD will also include four American Sign Language flash cards featuring Josh and words from the show. Blue’s Clues & You! Blue’s Sing-Along Spectacular will be available from Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment as of February 2, 2021, for the suggested retail price of $10.99 U.S. and $12.99 CAD.


MY REVIEW

"Everybody's looking for Blue's Clues
Come on in, come on in
It's Blue's Clues!"

By now you are all very much aware of how much my almost-two-year-old son, Braxton, loves the show Blue's Clues & You! You can check out our past reviews HERE and HERE and we have a video of him dancing to the theme song in our Instagram Highlights! We play the Blue's Clues playlist on Spotify almost daily because he loves it so much. When we had the opportunity to review the latest DVD from the show, we jumped at the chance. Not only does Braxton get to watch his favourite animated dog, but he also gets to sing and dance along in the latest DVD, Blue's Sing-Along Spectacular! 

Included in the DVD are four sing-along episodes your little one can enjoy as well as four American Sign Language flashcards featuring Josh and words from the show. Not only did Braxton get to enjoy episodes of one of his favourite shows, but we also printed out some musical flashcards that are shown below that represent different notes on a musical scale. We love that Braxton can now sing and dance with Blue whenever he wants and so can you little one! 

We're excited to team up with our friends at Paramount Home Entertainment to give one of you readers a chance to win this DVD for your little one! (Canada Only) To enter the giveaway, comment below sharing your kiddo's favourite character from the show.  

Sing along with Blue, Josh, and all their friends with the help of these printable musical flashcards! 


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received  Blues Clue & You Blue's Sing-Along Spectacular on DVD at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.


Elmo’s World: Things Elmo Loves DVD Review & Giveaway

 


What do elephants, drawing, grandparents, and chickens have in common? They’re all things Elmo loves! Everyone’s favorite furry red monster stars in Sesame Street – Elmo’s World: Things Elmo Loves, available on DVD and digital download on February 2, 2021 from Shout Kids and Sesame Workshop. The release is packed with episodes from Sesame Street’s beloved Elmo’s World segment, each exploring a different topic to spark kids’ curiosity. Also included -- the full-length feature Elmo Loves You!, with celebrity appearances from Trisha Yearwood, John Legend and R.E.M.

Each engaging Elmo’s World segment in this collection offers young viewers lessons to help them grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.

Experience over two hours of fun with Things Elmo Loves. Little ones will learn along with their friend Elmo as he discovers the world around him



MY REVIEW

Lalalala lalalala Elmo's world!

Although I am very familiar with Sesame Street and Elmo's World, from being the older sister of 3 younger siblings. Now as a mom of an almost two year old, this is Braxton's first time watching Elmo's World and he absolutely loved every bit of it, as did I. I loved watching his reaction to Elmo talking and singing and I love the premise behind the idea of things Elmo loves. Not only is Elmo sharing things he loves, but he's also explaining what they are to get our little ones a better understanding of them.


On this DVD your child will learn so many things that Elmo loves that includes emotions, grandparents, bus drivers, chickens, toys, games, nursery rhymes and so much more. Now available on DVD and digital you can bring Elmo's World into your home today. 

Thanks to our friends over at Shout Factory, we are offering our readers (USA and CANADA) a chance at winning 1 of 2 copies of Elmo's World: Things Elmo Loves on DVD. To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is leave a comment below sharing your favorite character from Elmo's World or Sesame Street. 


For more information about where to purchase Elmo's World: Things Elmo Loves, head to Shout Factory.

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received Elmo's World: things Elmo Loves on DVD at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. 

Love Is A Revolution by Renee Watson Book Review


Title: Love Is A Revolution
By: Renee Watson
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
ISBN: 9781547600601
Pages: 304

When Nala Robertson reluctantly agrees to attend an open mic night for her cousin-sister-friend Imani's birthday, she finds herself falling in instant love with Tye Brown, the MC. He's perfect, except . . . Tye is an activist and is spending the summer putting on events for the community when Nala would rather watch movies and try out the new seasonal flavors at the local creamery. In order to impress Tye, Nala tells a few tiny lies to have enough in common with him. As they spend more time together, sharing more of themselves, some of those lies get harder to keep up. As Nala falls deeper into keeping up her lies and into love, she'll learn all the ways love is hard, and how self-love is revolutionary.

In Love Is a Revolution, plus size girls are beautiful and get the attention of the hot guys, the popular girl clique is not shallow but has strong convictions and substance, and the ultimate love story is not only about romance but about how to show radical love to the people in your life, including to yourself.


 MY REVIEW

Let me just start off by saying if my seventeen-year-old self ever needed a book to relate to, this is definitely it! I fell in love with Love Is A Revolution by Renee Watson. Not only is there a girl on the cover of the book that looks like me, but she is also a plus-size teen because those do exist and deserve to have their stories told too. 


We're introduced to our main character, Nala Robertson, who is excited to spend her last summer before senior year hanging out with her cousin-sister-friend, Imani, with whom she lives with and her other best friend, Sadie. Her plans are to sleep in, binge movies, listen to music, and have fun, but Imani has plans of her own. She started attending Inspire Harlem, which is an organization for teens that help in community service projects and host awareness events about different social issues. Nala is not a fan, but since the story starts out on Imani's birthday, Nala has no choice, but to attend a talent show hosted by Inspire Harlem because that's what Imani wants to do. 


While attending the talent show Nala is introduced to Tye, who is new to Inspire Harlem. Nala is instantly attracted to Tye and by trying to form a connection with him, she lies about who she really is. Tye is a pescatarian and a young passionate activist, Nala is not, she loves meat and she's not an activist. She does however like spending time with her grandmother and her grandmother's friends who live at Sugar Hill Senior Living. So she tells another small lie about volunteering there because who hasn't changed or tweaked themselves a little for a crush? I remember doing somewhat of the same thing when I was a teen, but the truth always comes out and it did. 


Nala and Tye begin dating and Imani starts to notice how Nala is changing and wanting to be around her friends from Inspire Harlems, which Nala didn't like to do before Tye. This causes a bit of separation between Nala and Imani.
 

As we read how Nala and Tye's relationship gets deeper, we get more information on Nala's living arrangements. She's living with Imani and her Aunt Ebony and Uncle Randy. We learn that Aunt Ebony is Nala's mom's sister. We get a clearer picture of Nala and her mom's relationship and understand why Imani is distancing herself from her cousin-sister-friend. 


When the lies start to catch up with Nala, she starts doing a bit of soul searching to find out who she really is. This for me was one of my favourite parts of the story. I loved that throughout the story we got a glimpse into Nala's mind by reading the many lists/goals she would write out to herself. I loved that this story started because of a crush on a boy, but ended with a young woman discovering who she is and being comfortable in her skin/body.


A story I've been raving about the last couple of months to friends and family, Love Is A Revolution is a story that should be read by all, especially teens. I give this story 5 stars. It had me from the first chapter, which is hard to do. I usually can't get into a story until after the first couple of chapters, I was hooked from the beginning.


For more information about Love Is A Revolution, be sure to head to Raincoast Books

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received Love Is A Revolution at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. 


Shimmer and Shine: Magical Mischief DVD Review & Giveaway

 


Nickelodeon’s twin genies-in-training Shimmer and Shine will fly onto DVD in Shimmer and Shine: Magical Mischief, as they battle their nemesis, Zeta the Sorceress. Now on DVD, preschoolers will be taken on eight magical and spellbinding adventures as Zeta continues to cause chaos in Zahramay Falls. Shimmer and Shine: Magical Mischief DVD will be available from Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment for the suggested retail price of $10.99.

Shimmer and Shine: Magical Mischief episodes:
Size of the Beholder
Zoomicorn Toss
The Glob
The Silent Treatment
Trick or Treasure
Easy as Pie
Genie for a Day
Samira & Zeta: The Magic Begins



MY REVIEW
Bailey absolutely loves the Nickelodeon show, Shimmer and Shine. On different occasions, she has had their theme song stuck in not only her head but mine as well. When we got a copy of their latest DVD, Magical Mischief, she couldn't wait to watch it with me. In Magical Mischief, Zeta is up to no good again, this time trying to steal Leah's voice and it's up to our two favourite genies to help save the day. 

Magical Mischief comes with a total of eight episodes and I'm so excited to team up with our friends from Paramount Home Entertainment to offer our readers (Canada only) a chance at winning a copy. To enter our giveaway comment below your child's favourite character from the show. 



Also, with us being in the middle of winter and hot chocolate bombs being the latest winter trend to go around, check out the recipe you can make with your little ones, Hot Chocolate Bombs inspired by your favorite twin genie sisters, click below for the recipe! Shimmer and Shine: Magical Mischief is now available on DVD. For more information about where to purchase head to Paramount Home Entertainment.


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received Shimmer and Shine: Magical Mischief on DVD at no cost for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Twelfth Season DVD Review & Giveaway

 


Everyone's favourite Bikini Bottom buddies bubble up in the Complete Twelfth Season of SpongeBob SquarePants! See what happens when SpongeBob and Patrick work on Old Man Jenkins' farm for a day! Don't miss Sandy narrating Gary's nocturnal adventures (and discover the identity of his secret pal). Then Patrick learns something totally new about his own home sweet rock. Plus - why did Patrick get a new job? (For free ice cream. Duh!) And prepare yourself as SpongeBob explores the dreams of his sleeping neighbours. All this and MORE nautical nonsense await within!


MY REVIEW

Are You Ready Kids? This time we're reviewing season 12 of the children’s classic television show, Spongebob Squarepants! For the few of you who may not be familiar, Spongebob is a quirky yellow sponge that lives at the bottom of the sea along with his friends Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, and many more. 
This review was special to our family because Spongebob has been around for so many years. My hubby and I watched episodes when we were younger. To pass such a great memory along and share it with our son was super exciting for us! Spongebob is a great go-to for any family with little ones of all ages. It has engaging sounds and songs for the younger kids, along with jokes and adventures for the older kids, and as parents that watched the show growing up, it had some nostalgic laughs for us as well. Spongebob is a well-rounded show that has never failed to bring some laughter and excitement into our day.

We would strongly recommend this season along with all other seasons of Spongebob Squarepants to families of all ages. It’s a great way to spend the day when you’re feeling cozy or to cool down after a long day. Season 12 is now available on DVD to purchase. For more information on how and where to purchase, be sure to head to Paramount Home Pictures

Get ready to join SpongeBob with this tasty popcorn recipe and adorable popcorn boxes designed to look like each of your favorite characters! SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: THE COMPLETE TWELFTH SEASON is now available on DVD




GIVEAWAY:
We're excited to team up with Paramount Home Pictures to bring one lucky reader a chance to win the complete 12th season on DVD. To enter, comment below sharing your or your child/s favorite character from the show. 

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received Spongebob Squarepants: The Complete Twelfth Season on DVD at no cost for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received.

Spell Blu-ray Review & Giveaway #SpellMovie

 



While flying to his father's funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family. He awakens wounded, alone, and trapped in Ms. Eloise's (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.

       

MY REVIEW

During these unprecedented times finding different ways to keep you and your fam busy while cooped up at home can be quite the task. For our fellow thriller/horror movie buffs looking for a skin curling, keep you on the edge of your seat film that you can snuggle up in a warm blanket and enjoy on these cold wet nights, we’d like to tell you about the movie Spell.


Spell is a thriller/horror film that takes place in the present-day. The movie stars a young family with a father that has no choice but to face the demons from his past after the death of his estranged father, and this time, it's taking the whole family with him. This movie keeps you guessing at every scene while it works through the deep secrets of witchcraft. This movie gave us Us and Get Out vibes and kept us on our toes.


My hubby and I absolutely love horror films and find ourselves diving into two to three a week. So when we got the opportunity to review a new thriller/horror movie we were so excited. We would highly recommend this movie to all who want a great experience with a movie that captivates you at every scene. This movie will definitely be added to our arsenal of horror/thriller go to’s. 



GIVEAWAY:
Spell is now out and available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital. We're excited to team up with our friends at Paramount Home Pictures to offer one reader (CANADA ONLY) a chance at winning a copy of the movie. For a chance to win Spell on Blu-ray, leave a comment sharing your favourite thriller/horror movie. For more information about Spell and where to purchase be sure to head to Paramount Home Entertainment

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received Spell on blu-ray at no cost for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received.


Tips for Setting Your Kids Up for Academic Success


Parents have a bigger role in their child’s academic success than they realize. Children's perspective on education is usually formed at home first, so it's important for parents to be involved in developing good study habits, achievable academic goals, and a growth mindset. As their primary teacher and main source of support, here are things you can do to set your kids up for academic success:

Praise efforts, not talent
Showering your kids with praise is a good way to motivate them to achieve great things. But according to research, there’s a right and wrong way to do it. In particular, praising talent should be avoided because it teaches children to rely on innate abilities. Instead, acknowledge the effort they put into what they do, so they learn that the process is more important than talent or results.

Instead of constantly telling your kids that they’re smart, say something like, “I’m so proud of how hard you worked on your project!” Acknowledge specific efforts too. “I’m impressed by how you learned five new words this week,” is one example of what you could say. Recognize their accomplishments as you please, but always emphasize that their behavior and effort are key.

Give them stability at home
Giving your kids a stable environment is incredibly important in how they perform in school. Problems at home might rub off on children and affect their mental health, behavior, and learning ability. Marital fights, for example, create a stressful environment for young ones. Their focus will diminish and their overall wellbeing will be affected, too.

Make sure they also stick to healthy routines at home. Balance their academics with household chores and fun activities. Overloading them with too much schoolwork is counterproductive—they might learn to despise school or burn out from it!

Save up for their education
Prioritizing saving for your kids’ schooling teaches them the value of education given how big of an investment it is. It sends them a message that it’s important to be educated, especially if they want to succeed later in life.

Saving up for college as early as now is even more crucial because higher learning is where they make career-defining decisions. The good thing is that there are various options for financial aid to alleviate the cost of sending your kids to good schools. The Canadian government specifically designed the RESP, which stands for Registered Education Savings Plan, for this reason. It’s a tax-advantaged investment account that helps parents set aside funds for their kids’ learning. Students can also apply for public and private scholarships, grant programs, and bursaries to ease their debt. Regardless of how you go about it, saving up for their future can encourage them to value their education now.

Manage their screen time
Not all screen time is bad for kids’ learning, according to recent studies. Researchers have found that it’s mainly the time spent watching television and playing video games that have a negative impact on children’s performance at school. Too much TV impairs their language and math abilities, while video games affect their verbal memory skill and slow-wave sleep.

Technology is everywhere, and eliminating screen time could only delay their learning. They might not develop in-demand skills that could help them succeed academically and professionally. Regulating their screen use, then, is better than keeping them off of it completely.

Encourage curiosity
Children are very inquisitive by nature. Instead of getting flustered by all their questions, try your best to answer them. Keep their minds stimulated and encourage them to keep wondering about the nature of things.

The simplest way to cultivate a desire to learn is to study and read with your kids. Reading out loud to young children helps them develop important skills, such as language and communication. It is also a great way to bond with your kids and create positive associations with reading and learning.

The bottom line is that there’s more to being a parent than sending kids to school and making sure they do their homework. By being more involved with their learning process, you can boost your children’s academic potential and success.

Check out our site for more useful tips and reviews!

 

Flavorbomb by: Bob Blumer (Book Review & Giveaway)


Title: Flavorbomb
By: Bob Blumer
Publisher: Appetite by Random House
Publication Date: October 27th, 2020
ISBN: 9780525610892
Pages: 272

If you live for wildly addictive, life-affirming taste sensations that knock you off your feet, but can't figure out how to make them at home, you have just found your kindred cookbook spirit. Welcome to Flavorbomb.

You keep a running list of restaurants you go to for your favorite flavorbombs--a vibrant, pungent Caesar salad, extra crispy garlic fries, or a spicy puttanesca pasta maybe. You might even be able to articulate exactly what it is about those dishes that you find so addictive. But when you try to reproduce the same flavors at home, you find yourself falling short. If any of the above sounds familiar, this book is for you.

For the past 25 years Bob Blumer has eaten his way around the globe, traveling millions of miles in search of culinary adventures and inspiring foods for three TV series and six cookbooks. Along the way, he's broken eight food-related Guinness World Records, competed in some of the most outrageous food competitions on the planet, cooked alongside countless amazing chefs, and sampled every local street food imaginable at ramshackle carts, hawker stalls, and night markets from Italy to India. These collective experiences have formed the backbone of Bob's cooking in ways that culinary school can't begin to teach. In Flavorbomb he channels everything he has gleaned into recipes and practical tips to help you you create bold, stimulating flavors, that will leave those you cook for in a state of bliss. Prepare to become a rock star in your own kitchen.

The first half of the book is the real "money." It's full of tips, strategies, ingredients, techniques, and gear that will help you crack the code--and gain the confidence to take the leap on your own and turn any dish into a flavorbomb. We're talking developing the courage to season with wild abandon, brown your food to within an inch of its life, double down on the ingredients that can increase the pleasure factor, and taste and adjust on the fly.

The second half consists of 75 step-by-step recipes that use all the tricks in your arsenal to deliver the addictive, life-affirming dishes we all crave. And because Bob gets more excited by tacos than truffles, his outsider approach to creating addictive flavors won't require you to buy frivolous top-shelf ingredients or use super-sophisticated techniques. Instead, every recipe starts by building the foundation, and then adding layers of flavors and textures at every step of the way. If there's a hack or a simple trick that can save you time or up the ante--it's in here. Every recipe was thoroughly tested and had to earn its place in the book.

Get ready to cook like every bite is your last. Read Flavorbomb and your cooking will be forever changed! 


MY REVIEW

My husband and I love to cook. With us still being stuck in the house due to Covid-19, we've been enjoying cooking different types of meals, taking turns in the kitchen this past year, and it has been great with all of the hustle and bustle of life slowing down a bit and falling in love with cooking all over again.  We received Flavorbomb by Bob Blumer about a month ago and I have to say it has really upped our game in the kitchen. One of the things we love so much about this book is not only the delicious recipes shared in the book but how to incorporate different flavors in each meal making each bite a treat. 


In Flavorbomb, Bob shares tips, tricks, and secrets to making your cooking experience even more enjoyable.  Starting the book off with Taste, Bob goes into details about flavor building blocks and how cooking with many ingredients, and what each one brings to the recipe. The book shares different tips on what each spice and/or herbs bring to a recipe and how fresh herbs are always better and brings out the flavor so much more than dried herbs. From spices to herbs to homemade stock, Bob shares so many different useful tips that have made cooking for the hubby and me so much better and more enjoyable this past month. The top three rules of seasoning he shares are all the same; "It's easier to add than subtract." I couldn't agree more and have been following this rule since I started cooking in the kitchen with my grandmother when I was a kid. 

Not only does this book share loads of amazing recipes, but it also shares tips and techniques on using different gadgets, like, food processors, grills, deep fryers, along with inexpensive excellent chef tools that Bob recommends that are under $15.


This cookbook has become a favorite in our home. We've made a couple of the easier recipes from the book, like, Bob's Chocolate, Caramel, Peanut Butter and Banana Wontons, and Just-the-Good-Stuff Guacamole, and are excited to dive into the book even more to create a main dish and we really want to get into making our own broths. Flavorbomb will leave you wanting to head straight to your kitchen to create so many different delicious meals that you won't even be thinking about take out. 


Flavorbomb retails for $30 US and $35 CAD. For more information on where to purchase, be sure to check out Bob Blumer's website and also check him out on Instagram and Twitter.


GIVEAWAY
I'm excited to offer one of our Canadian readers a chance to win this lovely book filled with so many tricks and tips. To enter to win a copy simply comment below your favorite recipe to make.


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received Flavorbomb at no cost for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received.

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