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Family-Friendly Entertainment

Carmex Everyday Lip Conditioner

11/30/12
The cold winter months are upon us here in Maryland.  When I went out to the car this morning, there was actually ice on the windshield.  I don't mind the cold at all (it's all of that NH blood), but I do mind the irritation of having dry chapped lips.

I probably have mentioned this before, but I sleep with my mouth open most of the time.   It is definitely not good for the lips.   The winter cold and dryness make it even worse.  I have to carry a stash of lip balm in my purse and the diaper bag at all times.


lip balm
Thankfully, Carmex has a great line of products to help with dry, chapped lips.  The new Everyday Lip Conditioner has quickly become a favorite at our house.

This lip conditioner feels more like a lotion on your lips.    It's creamy, absorbs quickly, and has 13 moisturizers to help soften and smooth.  The best part:  it's not greasy, thick or sticky and it doesn't leave behind a lot of shine.  This makes even my teenage son very happy!   

We love the light formula and the yummy orange sherbet-like smell.  (My son says that it even tastes yummy)   The tube is small enough to throw in your purse, diaper bag, or even a pocket.   You can use it alone, or under lipstick; I use it by itself since I don't wear lipstick often.  

Wouldn't this make a great stocking stuffer for everyone on your list?

You can find the new Everyday Lip Conditioner for about $2.99 at various stores.

Follow Carmex on Facebook for coupons and fun giveaways!






Disclosure:   I received the product above for review purposes as part of the Carmex Blog Squad.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions are my own; your experience may vary from mine.

{2012 Holiday Gift Guide} Cuddletunes Bear

holiday gifts, gift ideas













My daughter loves her "stuffies" as we call them.  She has a collection of bears, bunnies, and other cuddly friends that she sleeps with and takes on car rides and shopping trips.   Comfort items are really important with little ones, especially when it comes to bedtime.


personalized gifts, plush, teddy bears, MP3 players



The Cuddletunes bear is one of the most unique teddy bears that I have seen.  It has a built-in MP3 player with 1 GB of storage (approx 250 songs!).  You can upload your own songs, stories, whatever you choose, and the bear will play them.  It is a truly outstanding technology!






You can create your soundtrack online; choose from 5 songs that they will insert your child's name into, or you can upload/record your own.   My husband recorded himself singing the song he sang to her the first night she came home.   It took a bit of time to get it just right; he suggests you speak directly into the microphone on your computer so it will be loud enough.   You will also need to have a quiet room without background noises.



personalized gifts, MP3 players, teddy bears

Once your soundtrack is created, it can be automatically uploaded to your bear.  The great thing about this is that you can keep adding new songs to your play list!  Cuddletunes has a cable to the MP3 player inside its body that attaches right to your computer.  Family members who are away can easily add their special story or song recording online and you can add it to your bear on your computer at home.  Switching out your play list keeps it fresh and fun!



MP3 players, personalized gifts, teddy bears

Operating the bear is very easy.  To turn on, you press the on/play button on their foot for a few seconds and you'll see a red flashing light over his heart.  It also has options to rewind or fast forward through the play list.  When you are finished, press stop and then the on/play button, the light will flash again, then turn off.  The light flashes like a heart beat and reminds you that your bear is on.

My husband is often working late hours and isn't always home before The Attic Baby is in bed.  She misses her daddy at night and asks for him often.  The Cuddletunes bear provides a way for her to hear her daddy's voice throughout the day without having to interrupt his work time.  She loves listening to her daddy sing!


personalized gifts, teddy bears, MP3 players


I am cautious about giving her the bear to sleep with just yet since she's under two.  I do not want her to open up the velcro and get to the box inside the bear.  Unfortunately, the velcro is pretty easy to undo and is too tempting for a curious toddler.   It'd be better if they had a toddler proof  way to tuck the box and cord inside the bear.  The only downside is I'll have to wait until she's older for her to sleep with it.

This will make a great personalized gift for children with parents in the military, parents who work long shifts, and grandparents who live far away.  It will give the comfort of hearing a loved ones' voice even when they can't be physically present.  


Where to Purchase:  $59.99 at Cuddletunes site



Connect with Cuddletunes:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cuddletunes
Twitter  @cuddletunes



For more holiday gift ideas, be sure to check out the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide!



Disclosure:   I received a Cuddletunes bear for review purposes.  All opinions are my own; your experience may differ from mine.   For more info. see my Disclosure Policy.

Nuby Bedlite Buddies

11/29/12
toys, infants, toddlers


Cuddly friends are important to a child, especially at nap time or bed time.   These Nuby Bedlite Buddies are not only adorable, but they also can play music and light up.


Nuby, plush



When you push the tummy, the face lights up and plays gentle music.  The box inside the velcro enclosed back gives you the option of demo mode which plays for just a few seconds, light up only mode, or play mode which plays a full song with the face lit up.  The sound is not so loud that it's overpowering and will only play when squeezed.  Though we often switch it to glow mode so baby girl doesn't play the same tunes over and over again (which can be a bit annoying after a while).  I like that it has options!

We received the turtle buddy.  He is a tiny bit smaller than the Ol'McDonald Singing plush and the Tickle Toes Bear, but he is a great size for my 22 month old.   The turtle's body is very soft to cuddle with.  His  face is a hard plastic that is BPA free in case your child puts it in their mouth.




The Attic Baby loves her "stuffies", but I worry about what I send her to sleep with.  Personally, I don't give this to her at bedtime, only times where I can monitor her.  She's a smart little cookie and I'm afraid she'll undo the velcro and play with the box.

The age recommendation on this is 6 months+, but I'm cautious when it comes to things with switches and batteries inside easy velcro enclosures.  Toddlers are curious and this is pretty easy to open.

Plus the tag does give this warning:

"Never leave child under 3 years of age unattended while using this or any other stuffed toys."    

That being said, the Attic baby loves playing with her turtle buddy.  She loves making his face light up and dancing with him to the music.  He's a great addition to her "stuffies."  When she's a bit older, he'll be a great addition to bedtime too.

The Bedlite Buddies are bound to bring a smile to your little one's face too, no matter what time of day.


Where to Purchase:  in store or online at amazon.com or Kmart.com for about $13.99


Want to know more about Nuby?  Find out about the latest products, 
great info., and giveaways from other Nuby Mommy bloggers too.

Connect with them:




Nuby Mommy Blogger program


Disclosure:  I am writing this post as part of the NUBY Mommy Blogger Program.  I did not receive any compensation for this post, although as part of this program I may receive items to sample or review.  For more info, see my disclosure policy.



{2012 Holiday Gift Guide} Strawberry Shortcake Jammin With Cherry Jam DVD

11/28/12
holiday gifts, gift ideas














20th century fox home entertainment, family movies


The glow of friendship shines brighter than the spotlight when Strawberry and her pals meet superstar Cherry Jam! Get ready for a rockin' good time as the girls face stage fright, work to impress a talent scout and consider moving to Berry Big City. Along the way, they learn that fame and fortune can be fun, but there’s nothing more important than friendship.

Special Features:

● Anything is Possible Music Video 
● Invincible Dance Along Video 
● Printable coloring pages




I was a big fan of Strawberry Shortcake growing up.  I'm so excited that they have updated the series so I can share it with my little girl!  Your Strawberry Shortcake fan will love this latest DVD from Twentieth Century Fox.  


Where to Purchase:  Available on Amazon


For more holiday gift ideas, be sure to check out the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide!


About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News Corporation company. Representing 75 years of innovative and award-winning filmmaking from Twentieth Century Fox, TCFHE is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming, acquisitions and original productions on DVD, Blu-ray Disc Digital Copy, Video On Demand and Digital Download. The company also releases all products globally for MGM Home Entertainment. Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce throughout the world.


Follow Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on Twitter @FoxHomeEnt



Giveaway:

One of my readers will win a copy of Strawberry Shortcake Jammin With Cherry Jam on DVD


Just use the Rafflecopter form below.  You must be a US resident 18 or older to enter.  If you do not fully complete the entries, your entries will not count.  

This giveaway is not in any way associated with, administered or endorsed by Facebook or Twitter.  Giveaway Ends 12/13/12 at 12:01 AM EST.  US Residents **18 and older** only may enter. One entry per household and IP address.  Winner will be drawn using random.org and will have **48 hrs** to respond to email or another winner will be chosen. Entries are verified.  No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.  The Attic Girl is not responsible/liable for prize delivery and there are no guarantees it will arrive in time for holiday gift giving.

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  Sponsor is responsible for the giveaway prize.  For more info. see my Disclosure Policy.

{2012 Holiday Gift Guide} Fracture

11/26/12
holiday gifts, gift ideas



Preserving family memories is so important.  Children grow so fast and it's hard to remember exactly what they looked like at certain stages without capturing them on film.   I often print out photos of my kids to give as gifts for grandparents and other family members who live far away.  (In fact, we'll be taking holiday photos soon)


digital photos, photo gifts





photo gifts, digital photosFracture is a new way to print and frame your digital photos.     They print those special photos directly onto glass and are ready for you to mount on your wall or display them.  It is not only a picture, but a frame and mount all-in-one!  



fracture, digital photos, gifts

The site is easy to navigate.  Simply upload your photo (make sure you have edited it to look exactly the way you want it to appear beforehand) and customize it.






I chose this fall photo taken at Sesame Place.  Can you believe how much The Attic Baby has grown?

You can choose the shape, add a border if you wish, and then pick the size that you want.  The hardest part is choosing the right photo!  

There are various size options ranging from 8-18".  Your fracture can be wall mounted or you can choose a photo stand.  I chose the 12" wall mount.


fracture, digital photos, gifts


You can preview your order before placing it in your cart.  Easy peasy!


I love the photo that I chose as a gift for my in-laws.  (Shhhh!  It's a surprise!)

I wasn't sure if glass would survive being shipped to our house, but ours shipped perfectly!  It arrived nestled in a thin cardboard box with the gear to hang it (the screw at the top).   No cracks or breaks (thank you kind delivery person for not throwing it on my porch).


fracture, photo gifts


My camera flash bounced off her knee here; that spot is not in the actual picture.


The colors came out vibrant and clear.  Absolutely beautiful! 


digital photos, gifts, fracture



I like that you don't need to buy a frame for your photo.  It is already mounted on the back and ready to hang on your wall!  This is definitely a time saver.




I am very pleased with the final product.  And I know The Attic Baby's grandparents are going to love it too!


fracture, digital photos, gifts



Fracture makes a truly unique and memorable gift!  

Where to Purchase:    Directly on the Fracture website



Connect with Fracture:

 Facebook and Twitter  



Special Offer for My Readers:  

You can save $5 off your order of $50 or more with Promo Code AGPROMO


For more holiday gift ideas, be sure to check out the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide!



Disclosure:   I received a Fracture for review purposes.  All opinions are my own; your experience may differ from mine.   For more info. see my Disclosure Policy.

Activision Family Game Summit Highlights #ATVIFamGames

11/24/12
Activision Family Game Summit, video games, events

I recently had the privilege of attending the Activision Family Game Summit as an online hostess on twitter.  It was my first time experiencing an event like this, but I walked away with some great information to share with you.



The panelists included:

Soleil Moon Frye @moonfrye (not only an actress but also an amazing mom and author)

Nicole Armstrong @ATVI_Family (Activision's Marketing Director)


Patricia Vance @OKtoPlay (President of the ESRB) 


Suzanne Kantra @Techlicious (Blogger).


The overall theme was about playing with your kids and using video games as another tool in your parenting tool kit.  I learned quite a bit about how video games can be a positive part of your Family Game Night and some unexpected benefits of playing them.

Some of the benefits were:

*Game players perform higher in perceptual and cognitive tasks, and are often more creative
*Video games can promote cooperation; gamers spend 80% of their time failing, encouraging resilience
*62% of gamers play collaboratively, games teach everyday skills including promoting teamwork!
* Studies show that video games may help kids with anger issues, & those with depression
*Girls who play games w/parents are better behaved, feel more connected w/their families (BYU study)




video games, parent information, ratings

Another very informative part of the session was how the ESRB does their ratings.  They now have a 3 part system:  Age Rating,  Content Descriptors, and Interactive Elements.  All box games have rating summaries to provide parents with insights into what was seen in the game to trigger that particular rating.


Of course, parents need to be involved in monitoring their children's game time and game choices.  They had some great tips for moms and dads such as limiting game time, keeping consoles in common areas , making use of parental controls, and checking out the specs on sites such as Common Sense Media and Plugged In before purchasing.



You can check out the full video of the event here:
www.activision.com/family 





It certainly wouldn't be Family Game Night without the games.  Activision has some hot new releases that just might be on your kids' wish lists.  

Here are some of my particular favorites:


Activision, video games, XBOX360 GAME F EATURES:
• Tackle the craziest courses ever,
like Deck the Balls and the
Wild west!
• Run the Wipeout course like never
before with all new, 3rd person
camera angles!
• Battle your friends to reign supreme
in Side-By-Side Multiplayer!
• Compete in over-the-top Wipeout
episodes and over 50 obstacles
designed to test your agility,
endurance and abilities!
• Relive your hilarious wipeouts
with all new Slow-Mo replays!


Activision, XBOX360, video games
Features: -Classic, comical, addictive gameplay! -3 Best-Selling Angry Birds Games in 1
Angry Birds
Angry Birds Seasons
Angry Birds Rio -19 episodes—each with an exclusive, NEW level -New Achievements and Trophies
Become a Bird Slinger, Banana Fanatic or the Grinch! -New HD Animated cut scenes -Kinect and Move support




Activision, video games, Wii
NEW AND FAVORITE CHARACTERS
Play as all of the AUTOBOTS: OPTIMUS PRIME, ARCEE, BUMBLEBEE, RATCHET and
BULKHEAD in single player campaign. Battle against DECEPTICONS including MEGATRON
and STARSCREAM, and a secret character never seen before in any TRANSFORMERS game!

SINGLE AND MULTIPLAYER MODE
Multiplayer mode offers different battle action experience from the single player story
mode. It features 11 playable characters including AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS in
several modes including Brawl, Battle for Energon and Emblem Match. The Wii™
multiplayer mode is two player split screen with up to four characters on screen at once.
Nintendo 3DS™ multiplayer has a four player mode over Wifi . There are no multiplayer
capabilities available on the Nintendo DS™.


Activision, video games, Nintendo 3DS
              FEATURES:
• ON THE FLY SWAPPABLE
CHARACTERS
Use Wreck-It Ralph’s brawn to destroy
obstacles or Fix-It-Felix’s magical hammer
to repair them!
• UNIQUE ENVIRONMENTS
Venture through exciting worlds based on the
featured film; from Sugar Rush to Hero’s Duty,
every world is unique but equally action-packed
and fun!
• BRAGGING RIGHTS
Find and accumulate collectibles like Hero Medals
and Easter Eggs that you can display in your
trophy collection!
• FUN THAT NEVER ENDS
Beat the game? No problem! Play it again and
discover more challenging levels under a new set of rules!                                                                                                                                                 




You can find some great deals on these at Target for your gamers this holiday season!


Which games are on your kids' holiday wish lists?

Disclosure:  I received a goody bag for attending this event online.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.  For more info. see my full Disclosure Policy.

Black Friday Deals From Fox #BlackFriday

11/23/12
Black Friday, DVDs, Blu-Rays



This year's Black Friday Deals from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment are incredible!  You can find select DVDs for $3.99 and select Blu-Rays for $4.99 and up and some of your fave t.v. shows for $12.99.  Can you say movie wow?  They've slashed prices on over 100 DVDs and Blu-rays!

Some of my faves:


Black Friday Deals
$3.99

movies, Black Friday deals
$3.99

Black Friday deals
$12.99 for the set!




Did you know that Fox Connect is now iPad friendly?  You can easily find your favorite movies and tv. shows and get FREE shipping on orders over $25!

Check out all the titles available:   http://www.foxconnect.com/movies.html?dir=asc&order=price


Happy Shopping!

Disclosure:  This was not a compensated post.  I enjoy sharing great deals with my readers! All info. was provided by Fox Think Jam.

Happy Thanksgiving

11/22/12
The other day I had a moment.  One of those surreal in slow motion kind of moments you see in movies.  The leaves on the tree across the street began fluttering ever so gently to the ground.  Bright oranges, reds, and browns dancing for the last time before getting swept away.    

I stopped in all the busyness of the day and just watched.  Mesmerized.  Taking it all in.  Taking a minute to just be in the moment.

It made me pause and appreciate all those little moments that are so easily taken for granted.  

This is a time for family, reflection, and truly counting our blessings.  

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Blu-Ray Edition

11/20/12
Fox Home Entertainment, movies

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure is now Available on Blu-ray Nov. 13th

Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) have spent so much time forming their rock band that they’re flunking history. Ted’s dad threatens to send him to military school if he doesn’t pass. Luckily, Rufus (George Carlin), a guardian angel from the future, has a time-traveling phone booth to take them into the past to learn about the world. Their journey through time turns out to be a blast…but will they learn enough to pass their class and keep their rock band together?  

Blu-ray Exclusive Special Features: 
        Theatrical Feature 
        Air Guitar Tutorial with Bjorn Turoque and The Rockness Monster 
        One Sweet and Sour Chinese Adventure to Go 
        Radio Spots 
        Theatrical Trailer




Can you say flashback?  I was 13 years old when this movie first came out.  And now I am able to sit down and share the "excellent" fun with my 13 year old.  I was excited to hear that Bill & Ted were coming to Blu-Ray.  It was a favorite of mine growing up.  The quality of this movie in Blu-ray is just awesome; when I've seen this movie on t.v. it was that old 80's grain.  There's nothing like the quality of Blu-ray no doubt.  The colors are so vivid and sharp!


One of the first comments from my teenager was about the phone booth.  Those are something you don't see much anymore.  Many kids today would probably wonder why are they time traveling in a phone booth?  Ironic that Bill & Ted's mode of transportation is now soon becoming a part of technological "history."



movies, teens



The absurd comedy in this movie is what makes it so enjoyable and classic.   (That is, if you are into that kind of humor.)  It was fun to hear all of the phrases they used like "bodacious" "excellent" and "dude" every other sentence.  Keanu Reeves is incredibly convincing as an air head and so is his sidekick.   While the movie is dated, the themes in it are not.  I think you'll find your teens can relate a bit to Bill & Ted's high school dilemmas and antics. 

My son and I cracked up throughout the movie and at the end he said "Man, I LOVE this!"

I definitely recommend you watch it with older kids since there are some suggestive scenes like when Bill's dad closes the door to be with Bill's much younger step-mother in Bill's bedroom.  There is also one inappropriate reference that I forgot was in the movie and had to explain to my teen why it was an inappropriate word to use.  Other than that, it is a fairly clean movie.

Just a fair warning:  You might find your teen saying "dude" and playing air guitar after watching this.  It's kind of inevitable.
  



Where to Purchase:   Amazon and in various stores






About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News Corporation company. Representing 75 years of innovative and award-winning filmmaking from Twentieth Century Fox, TCFHE is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming, acquisitions and original productions on DVD, Blu-ray Disc Digital Copy, Video On Demand and Digital Download. The company also releases all products globally for MGM Home Entertainment. Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce throughout the world.


Follow Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on Twitter @FoxHomeEnt



Disclosure:  I received a copy of the movie above  for review purposes.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.  For more info. see my Disclosure Policy.

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