Monday, September 29, 2014

Back to School with Paul Frank!

The Summer literally flew by this year and before we knew it, it was time to get ready for a new school year. Whether your kids started school last month or last week, I'm sure you found yourself rushing around trying to snatch up all the back-to-school necessities.

Thanks to our friends at Paul Frank, my kids kicked off the school year in style. Paul Frank's back-to-school collection is absolutely adorable. My oldest son entered 4th grade this year and his style is growing up just as fast as he is. He was really excited to carry his new duffle bag with shoulder strap because it's "really cool" and apparently backpacks are so last year.

My daughter instantly fell in love with her shiny silver leather-ish backpack detailed with hearts and that famous little face!

My little guy's backpack is just as big as he is! He loves it and keeps finding more stuff to cram into it. Blue is his favorite color and he really likes all the extra straps and zippers.

Whether they use their new gear for school or for sleepovers, there is no denying how awesome they look in Paul Frank!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. As a Saban Brand-Bassador I was offered sample product in order to facilitate my review. These are just my two cents!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Big Hero 6 is Almost Here!

From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph, comes Big Hero 6, an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit), a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter). When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voice of Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (voice of Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voice of Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voice of T.J. Miller). Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called Big Hero 6. 
Inspired by the Marvel Comics of the same name, and featuring breathtaking action with all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Big Hero 6 is directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt), and produced by Roy Conli (Tangled). 
Big Hero 6 hits theaters in 3D on Nov. 7, 2014.  

Little Fun Facts:
·       Big Hero 6 is the 54th feature film from Walt Disney Animation Studios.
·       Disney veteran Don Hall helmed 2011’s Winnie the Pooh and has earned screenplay and/or story credits on Disney features, including Meet the Robinsons, Tarzan and The Princess and the Frog. Chris Williams directed the 2008 feature Bolt, as well as the short Glago’s Guest. Williams was a key member of the Mulan story team, and was nominated for an Annie Award for outstanding individual achievement for writing in an animated feature presentation for his work on The Emperor’s New Groove.
·       Producer Roy Conli counts among his credits Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 2010 hit Tangled, as well as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Tarzan and Treasure Planet.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Build A School with Disney's Club Penguin!

Disney’s Club Penguin Pledges to Build Three Schools Globally for Back to School
Through Online Play, Kids to Help Build Three Real-world Schools in Ecuador, Haiti and India
Disney’s Club Penguin players can help other kids go back to school this year with the new ‘Build a School’ online event. From September 18 – October 1, players that log onto Club Penguin on web and mobile will help with the building of three real world schools in Ecuador, Haiti and India. Additionally, Club Penguin will provide 14,000 backpacks to kids across the United States on players’ behalf.
Starting September 18, kids can log into Club Penguin and embark on a scavenger hunt, cleaning up the Club Penguin University. During the scavenger hunt, they will learn about schools around the world and how they can make a difference in the lives of others. At the end of the event, Club Penguin, in partnership with charity partner Free the Children, will build three real-world schools in the next year and will donate 14,000 backpacks across the US. As special thanks for their help, players will receive exclusive in-world items, such as a schoolhouse igloo, a pro skater helmet, lab goggles and more. 
Players that want to further give back can apply for the Club Penguin Matching Gift Program, which will give a total of $25,000 in matching grants this year to student leaders that fundraise on their own to help build a school in a Free the Children community.
As a result of the generous in-world actions kids have made over the years, Club Penguin has helped an excess of one million people in more than 42 countries by funding projects such as:
·  22 schools built for over 20,000 children 
·  40 school libraries built for over 50,000 children
·  33 playgrounds for over 85,000 children
·  35 clean water projects for over 55,000 children & families
·  Youth engagement & education programs around the world for over 1,000,000 children & families

To find out more about the ‘Build a School’ program, visit:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

This is Where I Leave You Giveaway!

Jason Bateman!!!!

Sorry...getting off track here! If you're as excited as I am about This is Where I Leave You then I have got the giveaway for you!

This is Where I Leave You hits theaters this Friday and I'm offering one awesome reader a fun Prize Pack to enjoy. The winner receives:
  • A $25 Visa gift card to see the film in theaters
  • A #TIWILY tote
  • A #TIWILY mug

To WIN just complete the steps below and please leave your email info in my comments section. A winner will be selected at random.


Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was offered a prize pack in order to facilitate this giveaway.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Family Travel Spotlight: Lakehouse Hotel & Resort!

The Lakehouse Hotel & Resort is an amazing family travel destination located on the shores of Lake San Marcos in a suburb of San Diego. This gorgeous property just underwent a $9 million renovation and reopened it's doors last June. The lakeside resort offers two saline pools, oversized Jacuzzis, numerous fire pits and all the fun that comes with having your own lake. From boat rentals to paddle boards, Lakehouse Hotel & Resort has it all!

Upon checking in, we immediately fell in love with the lobby area of the hotel. Warm and inviting colors along with ample seating and a large flat screen television. We enjoyed complimentary beverages while we waited for our keys and in the corner of the lobby, we found a cozy area filled with classic board games available for family game night. The kids wanted to start playing the games before we even had a chance to put our bags away.

Once we finally got the kids out of the lobby, we headed to our rooms to get settled in. As soon as the door opened they started to scream and dance. They loved their room! Their favorite features were the giant fish posted over their beds and the tall deck chairs on the balcony. Of course, my favorite features of our rooms were a bit different. As a Mom, I loved having a Keurig brewer in the room because I need coffee to function and having my favorite coffee on hand just makes for a happier mama. I also liked having a mini-fridge to keep drinks and fruit chilled for my kids. The color schemes and d├ęcor of the rooms were just perfect. Such a cool and relaxing environment for traveling with children. We had a partial view of Lake San Marcos and a great view of the pool area.

We literally had to drag our kids out of the room because they just wanted to stay in and play. It took the word "LAKE" to get them running out the door. The dock was just a few steps from our room and we couldn't believe all of the lake toys that were available for rent. My husband's eye caught a pontoon just waiting us and as soon as the kids were geared up in their life jackets we set sail...well, not really sail per say. We were off on our lake adventure! It was our kid's very first time out on a lake and they were loving every single second of it.

As soon as we docked the S.S. Forte, it was time to gather by the poolside fire pit and enjoy Family S'mores Night! I love it when a hotel realizes that these are the special features that keep families coming back year after year. What kid doesn't like roasting marshmallows on a fire by the pool? Did I mention that there is no additional cost to enjoy S'mores night? That's right! It's included for all the guests at Lakehouse Hotel & Resort. After literally inhaling all of the S'mores they possibly could, my kids actually jumped in the pool and swam until dinner time. They went from pool to pool and played water polo (or tried to).

The next morning we ordered room service for breakfast from The Grill and everything was just perfect. The Belgian waffle was delicious. My daughter ordered hard boiled eggs and pancakes while the boys had steak, eggs and oatmeal. We loved our hearty breakfast especially after all of the fun we had the night before.

After breakfast we got dressed and headed to the hotel lobby to meet Katie for our Property Tour. There is so much more to Lakehouse Hotel & Resort than just the lake and pools. They offer multiple spaces for parties, meetings, wedding receptions, etc. They are in the process of adding a new on-site restaurant that will offer gamey meats and outdoor dining overlooking Lake San Marcos. The property also offers a fully equipped fitness center, golf course and spa services.

The biggest project they are in the middle of is offering GLAMPING for guests that want to try their hand at camping, but want to feel assured that the resort is just a short pontoon ride away. They currently have four tents finished and are in the process of adding much more. A pavilion is in the works for glamping guests to enjoy while "roughing it". The tents come fully equipped with electricity, ceiling fans, beautiful bedroom furniture and their own decks overlooking the lake. I will definitely be following up with the property on the progress of this project.

Katie also showed us the private cottages available at Lakehouse Hotel & Resort. The property currently has 4 cottages for guests to enjoy. Two 2-bedroom cottages and two 1-bedroom cottages that boast breathtaking lake views and include kitchens, living areas, dining areas, front and rear fire pits as well as private parking. The next time we visit this property, we will definitely be taking advantage of these amazing cottages.

Sadly, it was time to head back to our rooms and get ready for check out. We didn't want to leave the Lakehouse, but we had to say goodbye. My husband wants to bring my parents out with us next time. My Mother would love getting out on Lake San Marcos with her grandbabies. Lakehouse Hotel & Resort is an ideal Family Travel destination for so many reasons. Great food, great fun and it's literally located in our SoCal backyard. Close enough for a road trip with inpatient kids and far enough to feel like a wonderful getaway.

Thanks so much to Lakehouse Hotel & Resort for having us and we can't wait to see you all real soon!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was offered Media Accommodations in order to facilitate my review. These are just my two cents!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Hero of Color City Screening!

Wayne Brady, Craig Ferguson, Rosie Perez and Cristina Ricci lend their voices in the new animated film The Hero of Color City. My awesome readers are invited to attend an advanced screening of this wonderful film at 11am on September 27th at Bruin Theater. If you would like to attend this FREE screening then just click on the link below and request your tickets!

For Tickets Click Link:

About the Film:

Each night, when Ben falls asleep, his Crayons jump into their magical Crayon Box which transports them to their home in COLOR CITY, a world of dazzling hues, soaring fantasy and the whimsy of childhood. This land is fed by an enchanted rainbow and waterfall that provides the City and its citizens with color.
When YELLOW, our timid heroine, is accidentally left behind in Ben's room, she inadvertently awakens two Unfinished Drawings: KING SCRAWL, a huge, powerful, mute monster -- and GNAT, Scrawl's motor-mouthed, overactive sidekick. In search of color for themselves, they follow Yellow to Color City, causing panic and concern. If Scrawl and Gnat can claim the waterfall for themselves, Color City will fade, and along with it, our lovable crayon characters will disappear.
It's up to Yellow and a motley crew of Crayons, bodacious and brave, BLUE, meticulous, fussy GREEN, satirical RED, pessimistic BLACK and overanxious WHITE to save the day. Meeting with fantastical creatures and fun adventures along the way, Yellow discovers she has more courage and strength than she knew and learns to believe in herself and to count on the support of her friends. Replete with valuable life lessons, this enchanting story will entertain and inspire in a stunningly rendered and utterly unique animated world.
The Hero of Color City opens in theaters on October 3rd

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Maze Runner Giveaway!

It's time for another great giveaway!
I'm offering one lucky reader a chance to win a $25 Gift Card to go see The Maze Runner in theaters and that's not all! I am also giving the winner a copy of the book and a money maze. Now, who wants to win?!?!
To win just complete the steps below and leave your email address in my comments section. A winner will be selected at random.
In the meantime, check out this "Making of the Maze" Featurette: