Monday, November 30, 2015 'Better Than Best' Cyber Monday $3 Sale! logo
With the passing of Thanksgiving and Black Friday come and gone, I think it's safe to say that just about everyone is on the lookout for great gift-giving ideas.

When it comes to finding just the right token of appreciation, gift ideas can range all across the spectrum in terms of creativity and budget. Big? Small? Specific? General?

One sure winner? Giving friends and family (and teachers, hairdressers, mail carriers and more) time away from the kitchen by letting them dine out at their favorite restaurant. Who doesn't love when someone else does the cooking and cleaning for you?

Which is why there is still time to head to to not only pick up a gift certificate, but one that will provide a savings at more than 22,000 restaurants nationwide with an endless number of gift certificate options! gift cards

Gift certificates are a great idea all year round, but if you're stumped on last minute holiday gift ideas, then you won't want to miss out on the awesome Cyber Monday special they're holding TODAY ONLY! Cyber Monday sale

That's right, throughout today, Cyber Monday November 30th, is offering a $3 for $25 deal for anyone using the promo code CYBER.

If you've never visited, you'll want to head to their website to see what local restaurants and small businesses in your area are included (or in areas to which you may be traveling — their mobile app is fantastic for traveling and you can use certificates right from your phone!) so that you can get the best deal on your next meal. The site is designed to help diners find and visit local restaurants, get a great value, and, in turn, strengthen the local economy. What more could you ask for?

So go ahead and fill up your cart with $3 gift certificates for stocking stuffers, grab bag gifts, or simply a tasty meal out for your friends, family, coworkers or YOU! We're talking a $25 gift certificate for only $3! But remember that you have to hurry because this offer ends Monday, November 30th at 11:59 pm CST.

This holiday season, show your lucky recipients that you care while also being smart and saving money on dining deals at Be sure to visit their website to find out more about their gift cards as well as to find participating restaurants near you. You'll also want to connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and their blog so that you never miss their next great deal.

As a member of the Review Crew, I have been provided gift cards and compensation in order to facilitate my reviews and for sharing this information. However, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own. 


The lucky winner of a Eureka Brushroll Clean upright vacuum is...

The lucky winner of a Lance Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers and Cookies Prize Pack is...

The lucky winner of two bottles of Folgers Flavors is...

The lucky winner of four Scholastic Branches books is...

The lucky winner of a $100 American Express prepaid gift card and a pack of Pampers Swaddlers diapers is...

The lucky winner of a Mighty Makers Home Designer Building Set from K'NEX is...

A big thank you to everyone who entered these fun giveaways!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Tiny Smart Robot for All Ages: Ozobot Starter Pack {Review}

Ozobot logo
Although it is a little bit of a blow to the ego, I have no doubt that both of my children will grow up to be far more technologically-skilled than I am. After all, right now I can still manage to muddle my way through using just about any device or application, but the way that they can both pick up gadgets or apps and instinctively know what to do is a regular way of life for them.

On top of that, when I grew up I had toys and games that were just that, toys and games. Kids these days? They have amazing, incredible, innovative things that are far more than just toys in that they are fun but also fully educational.

In fact, they are technologically-advanced, fully interactive miniature robots that can change the way that children learn and play — they are Ozobot!

Ozobot robots

An open-ended, user-friendly, extremely unique robotic system, Ozobot promotes social interaction, computational thinking, and confidence-building all in one teeny tiny package. While STEM-infused toys and gadgets are more and more commonly available these days, I was instantly drawn to the fact that Ozobot can be controlled simply by drawing colored lines. What better way to get even the youngest of children excited about programming!

This holiday season, it was the perfect time to check out the joy of coding with the Ozobot Starter Pack.

Ozobot Starter Pack

Including all the necessary tools to ignite the imaginations of children while inspiring and enticing them to play with Ozobot, we couldn't wait to open the Starter Pack (available in red or blue) box and take this tiny robot out to play.

Inside, we found four code-creating markers, two clear play surface sheets, two sheets of reusable Ozobot code stickers, a DIY blank customizable Ozobot skin and DIY skin sticker sheets, and a charging USB cable.

Ozobot Starter Pack contents

Have you ever looked at a robot and thought it was adorable? I haven't — until now!

Ozobot tiny robot

I always appreciate products that don't require extended setup, installation, construction, charging or more before they are ready for use and Ozobot is exactly that!

I simply glanced over the Quick Start Guide and marveled at the sheer number of stickers, accessories and activities that were included in this set...

Ozobot quick start guide

...and followed the 2-second instructions to calibrate our Ozobot to a large black dot (seen in the upper right of the above photo).

Then it was time to press the power button and set Ozobot loose to see it immediately start following any of the lines printed on the activity sheets. This cute little guy even changes the color of his lights to match whatever color line he is rolling along on!

Ozobot review

While I was content to simply watch Ozobot zip back and forth along a variety of simple routes (what can I say? It's so cute to watch!), both Big Sister E and Little Sister B were more than eager to put their logic, programming, and reasoning skills to work to extend the experience even further.

We began by using the included markers to draw a variety of lines and designs, quickly realizing that Ozobot is easily customized just by changing the color, direction, and shape of the lines. The girls took one look at the Code Reference Sheet (showing which color combinations would cause Ozobot to do things such as speed up, slow down, spin around, etc.) and started drawing patterns and designs for him to follow!

Ozobot robot

At the same time, the ability to "dress" Ozobot in all sorts of ways with the various protective skins made everything even more enticing (and cute, may I add)!

Ozobot Starter Pack review

Attractiveness aside, I love how simply playing with Ozobot led to the girls and I talking about how it can identify color and therefore the color sequences act as commands for it to follow. This little gadget truly makes it so that programming is not just for geeks, it's for everyone!

Ozobot mini robot

In the time since our Ozobot Starter Pack arrived, its appeal hasn't lessened one bit. The ability to do more simple or more complex activities with this one-inch robot has provided a huge range of opportunities for logic, critical thinking, problem solving, seeing how the idea for a sequence of commands can turn into a visual outcome, and much more.

Whether you are coming up with your own innovative paths for this enchanting robot to follow or are using the mission-based activities to figure out exactly what commands he needs to get from point A to point B...

Ozobot activities

...Ozobot can foster a love of technology for kids of all ages!

I can't even tell you all the fun that we have had with this amazing little piece of technology, so just take a peek at it in action in the great video that the company made to show it off!

To find out more about what Ozobot can do (there is a free app to extend the enrichment even further!), see why retailers and parents are in love with this award-winning robot, or simply to decided if Cool Blue or Lava Red would be a better choice for the child in your life to unwrap this holiday season, visit and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Ozobot Starter Pack is recommended for ages 6+ and retails for $49.99. It can be purchased from retailers such as Barnes and Noble and Toys "R" Us, on Amazon, and more.

Other than the Starter Pack I was sent from Ozobot in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about this product.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Available Today: Shaun the Sheep Movie on DVD and Blu-Ray Combo Pack!

 Shaun the Sheep Movie logo
Back in August, my family was excited to help in announcing the release of one film that all ages can appreciate: the entertaining, engaging, amusing, heartfelt, visually stunning, adventurous Shaun the Sheep Movie.

It was time to head to the theaters to follow Shaun and his friends as an accident with the farmer's caravan and a very steep hill lead them to making a trek to (and through) the big city. When it was up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone back home, we couldn't wait to see if they would be able to work as a team and get the job done!

Whether or not you and your family made it to see Shaun on the big screen, now is the time to celebrate the ability to bring home this little sheep with big dreams just in time for the holidays, as Shaun The Sheep Movie arrived on Digital HD on November 10 and is being released on Blu-Ray Combo Pack (plus Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) today from Lionsgate Home Entertainment!

Shaun the Sheep Movie Blu-ray

Perfect for the young and young-at-heart, this "world-class winner" (Rolling Stone) is rated 99% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and was the #1 movie on their Summer Movie Score Card for 2015. Is it any wonder? Everyone loves Shaun even when life on Mossy Bottom Farm has become a bit dull.

Which is why when Shaun takes the day off for some fun in the Big City, he gets a lot more action than he bargained for. This film follows Shaun and his flock as they must use their wits to hatch a baaaa-rilliant plan to get back home in an adventure the whole family will love!

Shaun the Sheep Movie still

The Shaun the Sheep Movie home entertainment release comes loaded with bonus features including a fascinating look behind-the-scenes of the making of the film as well as interviews with the cast and crew.

The full list of bonus features includes:
  • "Making the Shaun Movie" Featurette
  • "Meet the Characters" Featurette
  • "Join Shaun Behind the Scenes" Featurette
  • "Meet the Crew" Featurette
  • Parody Poster Gallery
Still on the fence? Check out the adorable trailer to see just how fun and laughter this movie can provide!

Aimed at kids ages 4-10 and with a feature run time of 85 minutes, the Shaun the Sheep Movie Blu-Ray combo pack (plus Digital) is available now for an MSRP of $34.99 and on DVD (plus Digital) for $29.95.

Find out much more about the fun, feel-good antics of Shaun and his flock by visiting and connecting on Facebook, Twitter and at #ShauntheSheep.

Want to get in on the Shaun the Sheep Movie excitement even more? Download these fun activity sheets to extend the love for this adorable sheep today!

Other than a copy of Shaun the Sheep Movie that I was provided by Lionsgate Entertainment, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This post is solely my honest opinion about this product.