Curious about critters – giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Curious Critters Volume Two to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

We love going to the zoo to see animals every few months. Our favorite is a beautiful shady one with some great ways to see animals.
Unless it’s summer, when most of them seem to be asleep. It gets hot here in CA.

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A couple of months ago I got a copy of the second volume of Curious Critters, a growing set of books featuring animals photographed in studio settings, giving readers an eye-to-eye view of animals they would usually see up in a tree or behind a fence.

My son immediately settled into his favorite corner of our living room to pour through the pictures, asking me to come read to him. Even though he can’t read yet, I like how even just looking and asking the names is still something he is interested in.

How can you not with them staring back at you?

There’s so many cartoons and children’s books that talk about animals that feature drawings or animals in their habitats, but this one is awesome in that each animal is highlighted against a white background so you can really SEE each animal.
Makes you wonder how many animals pooped on that pristine place as they were photographed, right?

Each photo really is a thing of beauty- even if its a scary snake or insect. (Well, a two-inch worm may not be scary but this big and detailed, kind of creepy, right?)

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The captions for each animal are humorously written and drops in facts without you even knowing it. My son loves hearing the descriptions and funny introductions of the animals, and I ask him questions about them based on the pictures- are they soft? What might they eat?

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It’s a big book, so it stays home, but it’s been dragged around the house.

FYI – there’s also an accompanying audiobook for each book, with different voices for each animal for those who love to listen to stories.

I highly encourage you to check out the web site, which has more information, e-cards and other goodies, and a preview of the next in the series, Marine!

The store offers the books, audiobook downloads, card games, postcards, and some awesome-looking finger and hand animal puppets (I love the little butterfly ones!)

Do you have an animal lover in your home?

I’m giving away copies of Curious Critters Volume Two to two different readers!

Simply follow the Rafflecopter directions below to enter. Contest begins today and ends April 18th. A winner will be announced here and notified by email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

American Blogger

This morning a trailer for a documentary showed up in my Facebook feed.

I'd seen it pinned by someone I follow just for her cute style and craft pins, though I don't pin them as much as I used to.

American Blogger is a documentary about, well, bloggers.

Which, according to the documentary trailer, are all cute, hip, younger types with Anthropologie bedspreads and beachy waves.

Just like that blogger.

I was disappointed when I saw this film. After blogging since 2009 and reading since before, I've seen a great variety of women and men create this industry, mold it and shape it and excel at it.

But the documentary seems to focus only on the “millennial”, the “Pin-teresting”, the “hip young mom” type.

A 'movement'? The world has already been changed, the blogging world was created and exploded and is evolving into a different medium than what it once was. Online diaries turned into a form of journalism, storytelling that sells.

Romanticizing blogging, which is something you should never do to business. Especially one where the definition is for so mny PR types is THAT type, the cool mom with expendable money.

I am trying to withhold judgement until I see it, but there should be SUCH a more diverse variety of PEOPLE shown. I'm hoping there are more in the documentary that I at least recognize or identify with.

I follow grandmothers and young singles.

Fathers and teachers.

Cooks, book authors and artists.

And moms, lots of moms. But I'm also a mom. A millennial mom, technically. One with a veggie garden but no teepee, handmade quilts instead of Anthropologie, but I do have some white furniture.

Do I hope that the documentary suprises me?

Yes, but if I've got it right, well, my couch is ready for round two.

 

If you were making a documentary about bloggers, which three would you be sure to include?

 

My three? Elise from BlogHer, Erin from Queen of Spain, and Kendi from Kendi Everyday.

 

Small World Celebration

Disclaimer: I am a Disney fan just spreading the news because I love it that much.

It was a ride my son had ridden on several times  before he was even born, and one he rode on during his first trip to meet Mickey Mouse.

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It was the first app I downloaded on my phone for him to play, and he still chills tapping all of the different characters, singing the song quietly as he plays.

Our last trip to Disneyland he sang it over and over and over even though the ride was closed.

For Wonder Boy, “it’s a small world” is one of the highlights of a trip to Disneyland. Shelter from the sun, a calm longer ride with plenty to see, a respite out of the stroller in a safe place.

And now it’s time for someone else’s first ride.

This Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic ride, which was first at the 1964 World’s Fair. Thursday there will be a celebration at Disneyland park and voices from Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Tokyo Disney Resort will sing that song that is a global earworm, whether or not you’ve ever ridden the ride.

You can even join in at home, by joining a Google + hangout  (which I can watch from my phone while we’re there) and submit a question for Disney Legend Richard Sherman,

Earlier today I finally got a chance to make a doll, which I will have my son also do as we gear up for our trip to Disneyland for the 50th anniversary.  For every doll made on the site, Disney will donate $1 to UNICEF on top of the $150,000 it already donated. It’s still less than halfway to their max of $100,000 so go make one!

You can also film a sing-along on the SmallWorld50.com site – and the singing, I’m sure, will keep going the rest of the day!

I also encourage anyone with a free afternoon to check out a participating Disney store (call ahead and ask)  from this Thursday to Sunday, where children are invited to take a journey on an imaginary boat ride around the globe, learning how to say “hello” in various languages and singing “it’s a small world” along the way.

Will you be celebrating this week too? What’s your favorite section of the ride?

Weekly Sunshine – Disney edition

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Two friends and I assigned ourselves Disney princesses at the onset of the big Disney princess thing. I wanted Belle because of her love of books and her yellow dress, but got told I could have the Cinderella stuff because I had already found my Prince Charming (MR. Wonder, who they have never known me without.)

Queue the ‘awwwwwwww’ right…. now.

Anyway, other than that bookworm Belle, turns out that a few of my favorite Disney characters also had yellow clothes on.

Here is a roundup of some of my favorite Disney fashion!

Tiana from The Princess and The Frog

Not only can girl cook, she has great taste in clothes too.

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 Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

A classic ensemble for the classic princess. Primaries never looked as sweet.

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Pinnochio from Pinocchio

Another risk taker- lederhosen and yellow? Definitely a way to stand out on stage!
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Jane from Tarzan

I adore Jane’s sweet ensemble, but how poor of a color choice is yellow in a jungle full of mosquitos or something?
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Dumbo from Dumbo

This is the only scene I can stand to look at. Dumbo’s clownish attire is just sweet in yellow.
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Belle from Beauty and the Beast

A grand yellow gown was on my wish list after this movie. If I was in the running for an Oscar? I just may go there.

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Christopher Robin from The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh

I used to have a yellow polo I wore everywhere. I’d so get one for Wonder Boy just so he could wear it with blue shorts too!

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Honorable Mention-
Flounder from The Little Mermaid

Because he IS yellow. Rock on, Flounder!

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Did I miss anyone? Which characters wear YOUR favorite color?

Tee ball

I was so excited for Wonder Boy to start tee ball.

I had some comments about how not to expect him to be great, how this won’t mean he will have a career, blah blah blah.

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I didn’t do it for the sport, though if he loves it I want him to play as much as he wants.

It’s not for the love of baseball, though I like it a heck of a lot better than football.

It’s for the love of the game- every game he plays on a Saturday wearing this uniform.

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It’s for the love of watching him pay more attention to the game, though these joyous moments still happen for him because he also loves the game.

 

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But one of the biggest reasons, besides I knew he would love it, is to get him involved in a group activity outside preschool and playdates – somewhere he would learn skills like teamwork and doing his job.

 

But the added bonus is that I get to watch this every game – he supports the other team even as he is elated every week they ‘win’ the game (there is no score kept in his division and everyone gets to go around the bases each inning) with high fives, thumbs up and ‘good job!’.

 

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