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Family-Friendly Entertainment

Tuesday Giveaway Link up 9/29

9/29/15
Tots and Me
Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Featured Giveaway
Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.


My Friend Cayla {Holiday Gift Guide} #sponsored

9/26/15
I received a My Friend Cayla for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

My Friend Cayla Talking Interactive Doll


Like many preschoolers, my daughter loves dolls of all kinds.  But lately she is really into playing with the popular 18 inch "big girl" dolls.  AK enjoys dressing them, combing their hair, and having little conversations with them.  And of course, there are lots of tea parties!


I am tickled that she loves dolls as much as I did (and still do) as a kid!  I remember having a doll back in the 1980's called Pamela, the Living Doll from Worlds of Wonder.  As a matter of fact, I still have her and she works!  She is much larger than an 18" doll and talks by the use of cartridges in her back.  AK has played with her and thinks she's pretty neat, but since we only have one cartridge for her, she's not super interactive.

Technology sure has come a long way since the 80's!


My Friend Cayla dollWe were given the opportunity to test out one of the most unique 18" dolls that I have seen called My Friend Cayla.   This doll uses Bluetooth technology to talk to you.  But you can talk to her and she will answer your questions too!   Plus she will play games, read stories, and tell you about her family.

My Friend Cayla 18" talking doll

Cayla arrived dressed in a cute shirt, leggings, sneakers, and a denim jacket.  She also has a brush and a mirror for accessories.  She has big eyes that open and close and the usual rooted 18" doll hair.   Since rooted hair tends to get tangly, I ended up braiding it to avoid that problem.  She has large expressive blue eyes that open and close.

The Cayla we were sent is blonde with blue eyes (AK likes that this Cayla looks similar to her), but there is also a choice of a brunette or African American Cayla.  Perhaps they will come out with additional culturally diverse versions in the future. 
 
My Friend Cayla 18" talking doll, Genesis toys

Cayla differs from some other common 18" dolls in that she does not have a soft body.  It is hard because of the electronic components.  This hasn't been an issue with my daughter cuddling with her, but she isn't a doll she can sleep with at night.  Cayla stands on her own really well, but her joints are not flexible on her arms and legs to pose in various positions.  AK really likes that Cayla can share clothes with her other dolls since they have a similar body size. 



Once you get Cayla out of the box, the directions are pretty easy to follow.  First, download the free app on Google Play or iTunes depending on your device.  I had to delete some things from my Android phone in order to download it because it is a large file.  You will need to turn Cayla's switch to on, connect her to bluetooth on your device, and then do a few set up choices.  Once set-up is finished, press hello on the app and Cayla will begin talking!

My Friend Cayla App Android

Some of the neat set-up features that you can choose:

*You can change Cayla's name
*You can add facts about yourself that Cayla will remember and talk about
*Cayla can speak and understand Spanish {download Spanish version}
*Cayla can speak with a British accent {download British English app}

We noticed right away that it was important not to have any background noise {tv, music, or loud talking} around Cayla for her to work properly.  Her necklace will light up when she is ready for you to speak into her microphone.  You have to be pretty close for her to hear you because it is on her stomach.

Your child also has to be patient because Cayla doesn't speak back right away.  She needs "thinking" time.  Once AK learned that she had to wait for Cayla's necklace to light up and got used to the delayed response, she became more patient with Cayla.

I noticed that when my daughter tries to talk to Cayla, sometimes Cayla will answer with "I don't know that one" or "I'm sorry I don't know".  Since a four year old doesn't have perfect clear speech, it can be a little frustrating that Cayla doesn't recognize what she's saying.  So I will repeat it to Cayla for her.   AK loves hearing Cayla talk to her and has even heard her giggle and sing!
 



There are some standard questions in the directions that you can ask her to test if she responds correctly.  And you can ask her questions of your own; she will connect to your wifi to find the answers to math questions, spelling or geography and the like  (you can still use Cayla when not connected to the internet for most of her features, but she cannot look up answers).

And one feature that will give you peace of mind as a parent is that she is programmed with kid-safe proprietary software called Violet.  This means your child is protected from any inappropriate content or language.  You can even add words that you don't want your child to accidentally hear.

AK's favorite thing about Cayla is that she will play games on the app with her and read to her!  There is a matching game that she plays a lot, tic tac toe game, stories to choose from, as well as a photo album of Cayla's family that she will talk about.  It will be neat to see them add more games to the app!


My Friend Cayla App Games

AK absolutely adores My Friend Cayla and takes her everywhere with her!  She is sure to be a hit for interactive doll fans this holiday season.


My Friend Cayla 18" doll, Genesis Toys



Where to Buy:

My Friend Cayla is available at Walmart.com for $59.93


The Attic Girl's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide 
Follow My Friend Cayla for The Latest Updates



For more holiday gift ideas, be sure to check out the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide (coming in November)


Tuesday Giveaway Link Up 9/21

9/21/15
Tots and Me
Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Featured Giveaways

A+ Interactive Math Complete 1 Year Curriculum {5 Winners} US only Ends 9/25


$25 Gift Card of Choice US only Ends 9/28





Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.


Cinderella Now on Blu-ray Plus Free Printables #sponsored

I received a copy of Cinderella for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.



Disney's Cinderella Blu-ray


About Cinderella:

Celebrate Disney’s “Cinderella,” a modern classic that shines with beauty, imagination…and magic! Despite being mistreated by her stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters, a spirited Ella (Lily James) resolves to take charge of her fate. Add a royal ball, a Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham-Carter) and a glass slipper, and suddenly – magic becomes reality!

Starring Cate Blanchett as Stepmother (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”), Lily James as Cinderella (TV’s “Downton Abbey”), Richard Madden (TV’s “Game of Thrones”) as Prince, Stellan Skarsgård (Marvel’s: “The Avengers,” “Thor”) as Grand Duke, Holliday Grainger (“Jane Eyre”) as Anastasia, Derek Jacobi (“The King’s Speech,” “Underworld: Evolution”) as King, and Helena Bonham Carter as Fairy Godmother (“Alice in Wonderland,” “The King’s Speech”), and directed by Kenneth Branagh (“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” “Thor”), “Cinderella” debuts on Disney Blu-ray® Combo Pack, Disney Movies Anywhere, and Digital HD September 15, 2015. For more information, visit http://movies.disney.com/cinderella.




A Million Words of Kindness Campaign

In celebration of the Digital HD, Blu-ray and Disney Movies Anywhere release of Cinderella out September 15th, Disney launches the “A Million Words of Kindness” Campaign


In the film “Cinderella,” Ella is told by her mother, “Where there is kindness, there is goodness; and where there is goodness, there is magic.” 
Lily James A Million Words of Kindness

Families everywhere can create this magic themselves by submitting words of courage and kindness at www.cinderellakindness.com, using the hashtags #Cinderella and #bekind or the handle @Cinderellamovie. These kind words and their entrant’s names will then appear on the site’s interactive “Kindness Wall.


Inspired by the spirit of Cinderella to “have courage and be kind," share your words of kindness at www.cinderellakindness.com in time for World Kindness Day on Nov. 13th.




My Review:

I don't know who was more excited to watch this movie, me or my four year old daughter!   The animated version of Cinderella was one of my absolute favorites growing up, so I couldn't wait to see this film.

The cast is incredible.  I have loved just about everything I've seen Helena Bonham Carter in, and she was very funny and endearing as a fairy godmother.  And it's no secret that I love Downton Abbey, so it was great to see Lily James and Sophie McShera in this movie.  Lily James is the perfect embodiment of kind and courageous Ella!  And can you say gorgeous in those gowns?  Nearly every little girl's dream is to wear a gown and dance like that at a ball!  I loved the story line and Cate Blanchett was deliciously mean and dynamic as the step-mother.  

There wasn't anything I didn't like about this film.  And it was awesome to hear Lily James and Helena Bonham Carter sing during the credits!  You'll find yourself singing along to the classic  "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" and "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo".   We've already added the sound track to our Christmas wish list!  {Lily James has a beautiful singing voice and you can easily recognize Helena Bonham Carter}

If you're a fan of this classic story, you won't be disappointed in this family-friendly movie.  There's a lot of humor, magic, gorgeous scenery and costumes, love/romance and a beautiful theme of kindness woven throughout.


Bonus Clips:









Activity Pages:  Just click on the icons below and print!




Download Cinderella Host A Royal Ball
Download Cinderella Majestic Games & Craft

All information, clips, and images used with permission from Click Communications.

Let's Learn About the Lord's Prayer by Catherine DeVries {Litfuse Book Tour}

9/20/15

Let's Learn about the Lord's Prayer PK
 
 Let’s Learn about the Lord’s Prayer (David C. Cook, September 2015)

In this first book of the HeartSmart series, preschoolers are invited on a playdate with Emma. Together they learn the Lord’s Prayer and practice “teaching” it to Emma’s favorite teddy bear.

Introducing HeartSmart, a Scripture memory series designed to create opportunities for children to fill their heart with God’s Word. HeartSmart combines key Scriptures with songs, giving parents a spiritual formation path for building a strong foundation of faith.

The entire Lord’s Prayer is included, along with a custom song (free download with access code).
Learn more and purchase a copy.
 
 
My Review:
 
I am glad that there is a series like this for my daughter to learn scripture memory at home!  This board book is right on her level and very easy for her to understand.  Emma talks to your child from the beginning as if she is right there on a play date with them.  It's also a good length to read before bed at night.
 
Not only can she learn the prayer, but also the meaning behind it (there are some large words in there for a four year old to understand). The pictures are inviting and my preschooler thought it was neat that Emma teachers her teddy bear.  AK has several favorite "stuffies" and talks to them all the time too!  

AK also likes to listen to the song that we downloaded to go along with the book.  It has an adult singing as well as a child and reinforces memorization.

We can't wait for the rest of the books in the series!

{More About Catherine DeVries}

Catherine DeVriesCatherine DeVries has written twenty books for children, including the bestselling “The Adventure Bible Storybook.” As associate publisher of Children’s Resources at David C Cook, she leads product development for The Action Bible collection, which has sold over a million copies. Catherine lives with her husband, their three children, and their big furry dog in the Colorado forest.
Find out more about Catherine at http://www.davidccook.com.


Where to Buy:

Let's Learn About the Lord's Prayer is available at familychristian.com for $10.99.

 

VTech Flipsies Lexi's Trampoline & Classroom {Holiday Gift Guide} #sponsored #giveaway

9/18/15
I received Flipsies product and information from VTech for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

I love toys that spark creativity and keep my preschooler's interest!  We recently tried out VTech's new line of toys called Flipsies.  They empower girls to use their imaginations and dream big.  Eight introductory themes encourage girls to dream about being anything they want to be: a doctor, marine biologist, a teacher, or even a princess.

VTech Flipsies

On any given day AK will tell you that she wants to be something different.  One day she might say she wants to be a super hero.  Another day, she wants to be a zoo keeper.  But I am okay with that.  I don't want to limit her choices for what she wants to be when she grows up.  And I like that these toys encourage that too!

Flipsies have MagicPoint technology that allows them to interact with other playsets and talk to each other.  Just place your Flipsie on the MagicPoint in the playset, and she will respond with fun phrases that match her personality.



I'm pretty partial to the fact that Lexi wants to be a teacher, considering that was what I did before staying at home with my girls.   Her 2-in-1 playset features a classroom that can transform into a fun trampoline.  She also has cute accessories (check out those fun glasses!) so she can change from her teacher outfit into her exercise outfit (which we did not do in the video).  My daughter likes that she has different hair. 
 


It is pretty easy for my 4 year old to change the classroom into a trampoline.  The pieces flip over or down.  The touch points are simple to connect to and AK loves that she talks and that the trampoline makes springing sounds when you make Lexi "bounce" on the touch point.

She has some difficulty with the little accessories and changing outfits on her own.  I also have to be careful that the little pieces are not left out around our toddler who puts everything in her mouth.




I asked AK some questions about Flipsies and here are her answers:



1.      What, or who, do you like to pretend to be when you’re playing?

A Super Hero

2.      Who is your favorite Flipsie doll and why?

Styla because she has pink hair

3.      If you could transform like a Flipsie, what would you turn into?

 A Super Hero



Flipsies are so much fun for my preschooler!  They have a positive message and the toys can interact with other sets.  She has already asked Santa for more Flipsies. These are sure to be a hit this holiday season!



Where to Buy: 

Flipsies play sets vary in price from $9.99- $39.99 at VTechKids.com
The Attic Girl's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide 
Follow The Flipsies for The Latest Updates



For more holiday gift ideas, be sure to check out the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide (coming in November)






Giveaway: 

One reader will win a Lexi's Trampoline & Classroom Playset 

Just use the Giveaway Tools form below.  You must be a US resident 18 or older to enter.  You must complete each task entirely or your entries will not count.  

This giveaway is not in any way associated with or endorsed by Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter.  Giveaway Ends 10/3/15 at  2 PM 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.  By entering this giveaway, you agree to the Giveaway terms/rules.

Disclosure:  I received Flipsies product and information from VTech for review purposes.  All opinions are my ownSponsor is providing the giveaway prize. For more info. see my Disclosure Policy.

Tuesday Giveaway Link Up 9/15

9/15/15
Tots and Me
Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Featured Giveaways

A+ Interactive Math Complete 1 Year Curriculum {5 Winners} US only Ends 9/25


$25 Gift Card of Choice US only Ends 9/28



Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.


Tuesday Giveaway Link Up 9/8

9/8/15
Tots and Me
Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Featured Giveaways
$15 Babies R Us Gift Card US only Ends 9/14


The Moodster Meter US only Ends 9/14
Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.


When Calls the Heart: Heart of the Family DVD #sponsored #hearties

9/7/15
Thank you to Edify Media for giving me a review copy of When Calls the Heart: Trials of the Heart.  This post contains affiliate links.


When Calls the Heart: Heart of the Family DVD

Are you a fan of the series on the Hallmark Channel called When Calls the Heart?   I am a HUGE #Heartie and am so excited that Season 2 is coming to DVD!  

In case you need to catch up on Season 2, here are the DVD's in order:

When Calls the Heart: Trials of the Heart
When Calls the Heart: Heart & Soul
When Calls the Heart: Heart of the Family
When Calls the Heart: Heart and Home 
When Calls the Heart:  Follow Your Heart


When Calls the Heart: Heart of the Family is now available with exclusive behind the scenes interviews and continues season 2.

Synopsis: 

 Elizabeth returns to Hope Valley and immediately volunteers to look after a neighbor’s rural homestead… and his two children, an undertaking which proves to be a bigger chore than she’d imagined. But when Jack lends a hand, and they wind up chatting by the fire, all seems right in Hope Valley and the world. 

Meanwhile, in Hamilton, Bill Avery sets about busting a counterfeiting ring wide open, an endeavor which surprisingly leads him to Hope Valley, where he mysteriously declines Jack’s help. But Bill isn’t the only big-town visitor: Elizabeth is even more surprised to see her former suitor, Charles Kensington, standing right in the middle of her schoolhouse! 







In Heart of the Family, Elizabeth returns home now that her mother is well.  Coal Valley has now been re-named Hope Valley.  I guess it wasn't unusual in that time period for towns to pick new names. 

But it seems fitting as "hope" is a big theme so far this season.  Jack is hoping to impress Elizabeth with the new schoolhouse.  Charles Kensington is hoping to win Elizabeth's heart.  Elizabeth is hoping for Jack to be more open with her.  And Bill Avery is hopeful to explain to Abigail his marital situation.

There is a lot going on in Hope Valley including counterfitting and underhandedness.  You'll have to keep watching to figure it all out. 
I'm enjoying the interesting plot lines, though at times it can be a little bit predictable. 

If you're a fan of the series, follow #hearties on twitter for all the latest buzz!


Where to Buy:



When Calls the Heart
Follow When Calls The Heart #Hearties

The Mill Fudge Factory {Holiday Gift Guide} #sponsored

9/1/15
I received handcrafted fudge from The Mill Fudge Factory for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

I grew up in New England, specifically in NH.  I loved the beauty of the area and the "small town" feel and miss it very much.  Nothing says home like pure maple syrup, apple picking, the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, and the beauty of white birch trees. 

You can take the girl out of New Hampshire, but you can't take the NH out of the girl.

I was recently given the opportunity to try out some handcrafted artisan fudge from The Mill Fudge Factory in Bristol, NH.  They totally had me at fudge. 

The Mill Fudge Factory & Ice Cream Cafe is a family-owned and operated small business founded by the Munro family in 2006.  They use 100% natural ingredients and their family's secret Scottish recipe to create authentic fudge unlike any other.  And now they are offering their hand-crafted fudge nationally through their online shop.  (which is perfect for home-sick gals like me who are too far away to stop by)

If you are looking for a delicious gift with a taste of New England, then look no further.

It's no wonder that The Mill Fudge Factory & Ice Cream Cafe was named the "Best of NH 2014" by New Hampshire Magazine.  This fudge is heaven in a box!

Fresh Natural Fudge from The Mill Fudge Factory


My sampler box arrived with 4 flavors: Original Penuche, Chocolate Raspberry, Belgian Chocolate, and Maple Walnut. Each piece of fudge was just the right size for sharing with my family.

The Mill Fudge Factory Handcrafted Fudge

My preschooler loved the Belgian chocolate and my hubby was a fan of the chocolate raspberry.    It was gobbled up in merely minutes.  (In case you have any leftovers, you can freeze them)

The Mill Fudge Factory

But my absolute favorite was the Maple Walnut.  I can't say enough about this yummy goodness!  I have always LOVED (and that is an understatement) pure maple syrup; on pancakes, french toast, & waffles.  And maple sugar candy from back home sends me into bliss.  This fudge knocked it out of the park with cane sugar, evaporated milk, butter, pure maple syrup, walnuts, pure honey and maple extract.  Oh.  My.  YUM!  

Maple Walnut Fudge from The Mill Fudge Factory


Maple Walnut Fudge from The Mill Fudge Factory
Pardon my fudgey fingers!

I've already asked Santa to send me some Maple Walnut fudge for Christmas.  It is THAT good!  (I know, I know, it's only September.  But a girl has to plan ahead)  And did you know they have a Fudge Club?  It's time for some serious fudge therapy.

 Maple Walnut Fudge from The Mill Fudge Factory

This fudge is perfect for Halloween treats, dessert at the Thanksgiving table, or makes a perfect Christmas or Hanukkah gift (there's always that one person you're not sure what to buy them, so fudge is a tasty option!)

Plus, they have other options such as decadent truffles and toffee.  You're sure to find something to love.


More About The Mill Fudge Factory & Ice Cream Cafe
The Mill Fudge Factory 
Nestled in New Hampshire's Lakes region is the family-owned and operated Mill Fudge Factory & Ice Cream Cafe.  Housed in a quaint, historic 1700's grist mill overlooking the Newfound River, the Factory has been quietly serving high quality fudge, made from the Munro family's traditional Scottish recipe, since 2006.  Advocates of the slow food movement, the Munro family make their fudge with all natural ingredients including Callebaut Belgian dark chocolate, Cabot butter, pure honey and cane sugar and staunchly avoid corn syrup, preservatives, artifical flavors and colors.  The hand-crafted fudge is now available for shipping across the US through the factory's online store.


Where to Buy:

You can sign up for their newsletter by email and save 10% on your first order at http://themillfudgefactory.com

 A box of 1lb fudge is only $14.99 plus shipping (are you listening Santa?)

The Attic Girl's 2015 Holiday Gift GuideFollow The Mill Fudge Factory for The Latest Updates



For more holiday gift ideas, be sure to check out the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide (coming in November)

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