Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Good Dinosaur Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere {Available Now!}

The Good Dinosaur logo
While I typically sit down to watch a movie with plans to be entertained (and hopefully have a few laughs), I love when a film manages to also include so much more.

An epic adventure? A heartwarming tale of an unlikely friendship? An underlying message about confronting your fears, believing in yourself, and discovering what you are truly capable of?

It all comes together (along with those laughs) from the innovative minds of Disney•Pixar in today's release of The Good Dinosaur.

The Good Dinosaur movie

Available now on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere, The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely, and giant dinosaurs never became extinct?

What follows is a glimpse into the world of dinosaurs, where viewers meet an apatosaurus named Arlo, the last to hatch among his siblings and the smallest and most fearful in his family. This 11-year-old has yet to make his mark on his family's farm but, after falling into a river and getting swept hundreds of miles from home, Arlo finds himself forced to face his fear.

Arlo The Good Dinosaur

While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape in his effort to find his way home, Arlo makes an unlikely friendship with a human boy who helps him realize he is capable of much more than he ever thought.

This small human, named Spot, is wild and tough, having lived on his own in the wilderness for much of his life. He speaks in only grunts and growls but he is fearless, confident and a survivalist. Although Spot and Arlo do not meet under the best of circumstances, it isn't long before Spot proves to be a great resource for Arlo... which then turns into a beautiful friendship.

The Good Dinosaur Arlo and Spot

There is no doubt that the Disney•Pixar team turned what could have been a simple children's tale into a completely original story full of humor, heart, action, and imagination that is perfect for the whole family. I laughed, I cried, I cheered on this young, brave duo, and, when the final credits rolled, I was even happier knowing that we could watch it again!

Both of my girls had seen The Good Dinosaur in the theater, but were still just as excited to watch it again and gave it two thumbs up afterward.
It's a sad movie but it turns out to be a really good one because when the dinosaur gets his friend then they have a really good time together. I liked that the little guy's name was Spot. 
          -Little Sister B, 7
Exciting, funny and sad all at the same time. 
          -Big Sister E, 9
As well as the feature film, The Good Dinosaur also includes some amazing bonus features available on the Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere:
  • Sanjay's Super Team (theatrical short) – Sanjay loves the world of cartoons and comics, while his father tries to draw him into his Hindu traditions. Reluctance quickly turns into awe-inspiring adventure as the boy embarks on an amazing journey, returning with a new perspective they can both embrace.
Sanjay's Super Team
  • True Lies About Dinosaurs – Learn more about what separates the fictional dinosaurs of The Good Dinosaur from what scientists know about real dinosaurs.
  • Recyclosaurus – Watch as the crew of The Good Dinosaur competes to see which department can create the best dinosaur ever…using only recycled, discarded items from the studio's "free table."
  • The Filmmakers' Journey – Director Peter Sohn and his fellow filmmakers talk about the challenging, inspiring, and unexpectedly emotional experience of making The Good Dinosaur.
  • Every Part of the Dinosaur – The filmmakers talk about the special animation challenges of The Good Dinosaur, including figuring out how to animate a dinosaur who is really a boy and a boy who has the spirit of a dog.
  • Following the T-Rex Trail – Follow the filmmakers as they travel to a working cattle ranch and meet the McKays, a close-knit family whose work ethic, generosity, and stories inspired the T-Rex ranchers of the film.
  • Dino Bites – A montage of original animated pieces produced to promote The Good Dinosaur.
  • Hide and Seek – A short animated clip produced to promote The Good Dinosaur.
  • Commentary – Commentary from director Peter Sohn, story supervisor Kelsey Mann, supervising animator Mike Venturini, director of photography/lighting Sharon Calahan, and supervising technical director Sanjay Bakshi.
  • Deleted Scenes – 
    • The Attack – An idyllic introduction to the family farm is cut short when a savage predator attacks the newborn Arlo. With an introduction by Director Peter Sohn.
    • Building the Silo – An admiring Arlo is thrilled to follow along as his father builds a silo for the family farm. With an introduction by Director Peter Sohn.
    • Waiting for Poppa – Arlo awaits the return of his beloved father on a stormy night, only to be greeted with tragic news. With an introduction by Director Peter Sohn.

Filled with laughter, heart, adventure and thrills, The Good Dinosaur has a running time of 93 minutes and is available now. Be sure to keep an eye out for this magical film at your local retailers as well as from Amazon (where the Blu-ray Combo Pack currently retails for $22.99).

You can also find out much more about this great movie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Other than a copy of The Good Dinosaur that I was provided 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.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Small But Powerful: Overcoming Challenges on the Way to Greatness {#SmallButPowerful}

Tide logo
This post is sponsored by Socialstars and Tide, however all opinions are my own. #SmallButPowerful

Although there are plenty of men that look like stereotypical football players (i.e. big and beefy) that will be a part of tonight's Super Bowl, there is something that I find inherently appealing about the little guy. Is it rooting for the underdog? Or just relating to being the odd man out?

Or possibly it is just knowing that size isn't always in direct correlation to power when it comes to a lot of things in life. The biggest cars aren't always the best; there are plenty of tiny dogs that are just as amazing as their larger counterparts; eating a giant chocolate cake instead of a small slice may just leave you with a stomachache; and more.

Another example? Tide Pods that, while small, are incredibly effective at keeping my family's clothing clean and stain free. This 3-in-1 detergent (detergent, stain remover and brightener all in one) dissolves quickly in both hot or cold water and can be used in HE or traditional machines. I absolutely love the ease, convenience and effectiveness!

Tide Pods

But let's go back to talking people, because there is no shortage of incredible heroes, politicians, athletes, servicemen and women, athletes, and many more that may be small but are still extremely powerful.

I have personally admired many men and women who have overcome diversity and obstacles in their lives and careers but one who immediately comes to mind due to being small in stature (and a female in a male sport) is the incredible Becky Hammon.

There is no doubt that being the first full-time female assistant coach in NBA history could be a little daunting, but Becky has taken it all in stride as just a part of her #SmallButPowerful story. Take a look at this amazing short video that just oozes her toughness!

Becky Hammon

While I have encountered a wide variety of challenges in my life, one that always immediately comes to mind occurred nine years ago this month.

Before Big Sister E was born, ultrasounds had shown that there was a defect in one of her ureter tubes (the tubes that connect each kidney to the bladder). Once she was here, doctors performed all sorts of scans and tests to determine the severity and the likelihood of the issue resolving itself... but, in the end, surgery was the answer.

baby renal scan
One of many pre-surgery renal scans.

Just seeing your child get hurt can tug at a mother's heartstrings, but handing my first baby over for surgery? Whew, it was easily an obstacle that I wouldn't want to relive.

But of course my incredible girl was plenty #SmallButPowerful and came through surgery with flying colors. Further checkups and scans proved it had been wildly successful and, nearly a decade later, Big Sister E is completely healthy and of course has no recollection of the event at all. In fact, other than the photos and the scar on her back, she might otherwise not believe me that it happened!

baby surgery
Surgery day!

What challenges have you conquered or obstacles have you overcome? We are all #SmallButPowerful in our own way!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Providing Protection, Moisture and Flavor to Lips Everywhere: ChapStick {Review & Prize Pack Giveaway}

Chapstick logo
While the majority of people think of the same common items that are must-haves when heading out the door (e.g. phone and wallet), there is one more essential that I need with me at all times: lip balm.

Whether I'm heading out to run errands, taking my girls to play dates, meeting friends for coffee, going to dinner with the whole family or more, I just can't take the feeling of having dry, cracked lips.

Not to mention that this everyday essential also protects and visibly improves the appearance of my lips at the same time, so is it any wonder that I've gone as far as to attach a pouch specifically for my lip balm right onto my keychain? Now there's no chance that I'll be out and find myself wishing my favorite beauty product was there, too!


As you can see, this great little portable pouch isn't just designed for any old lip balm, it is perfectly sized for the one legendary beauty staple that has held my lips' loyalty year after year: ChapStick.

With a specialized formula for every lip need, ChapStick is the tried-and-true product that is found in purses and pockets from coast to coast (and across the world)!

keychain ChapStick holder

It is no secret that ChapStick helps us achieve moisturized and hydrated lips no matter our age or the season (it is especially a must in the cold, dry winter air!), but did you know that there is an entire collection of ChapStick products, each with their own specialized benefits?

From focusing on relieving dryness to providing a silky feeling to offering a sweet flavor, I was looking forward to expanding my ChapStick horizons to see more of what the full product line contains.

ChapStick review

My lips were tingling as soon as I opened the box!

Starting with the ChapStick Classic Range in Original, Strawberry, Cherry, and Spearmint, I was immediately pleased that these were indeed the lip balms that I have always known and loved. As the brand was created more than 100 years ago, there really is no need to look elsewhere for the #1 name in protecting and moisturizing lips!

Keep it Original, toss in fun fruity flavors like Cherry and Strawberry, or keep it fresh with Spearmint; these ChapStick Classic Range varieties are perfect for each and every day.

ChapStick Classic Range

When you know that your lips are going to be taking on the elements than usual, ChapStick Sun Defense offers a conditioning formula, including sun protection with SPF 25. Winter, spring, summer and fall, this unique ChapStick prevents and temporarily protects chafed, chapped or cracked lips. Don't even think of hitting the slopes this winter without it!

ChapStick Sun Defense

If your lips do end up needing a little extra TLC, however, ChapStick Medicated is the perfect answer. Whether you are feeling under the weather or just need that extra boost of hydration, ChapStick Medicated quickly soothes and seals in moisture with a light, protective barrier to help heal dry, chapped lips.

ChapStick Medicated

For an extra boost of hydration, the ChapStick Moisturizer collection (I sampled the Raspberry Crème, Original, Green Apple, and Vanilla Mint varieties) feature special moisturizing ingredients such as Aloe and Vitamins that leave your lips feeling soft, supple and silky in winter or summer.

I love that these are not only delicious but that their ultra hydrating formula really does leave my lips feeling like they have locked in some extra saturation!

ChapStick Moisturizer collection

Finally, if you are looking to treat your lips to a refreshing and fruitful getaway, the ChapStick Tropical Paradise Collection is the solution to bringing the islands with you wherever you go.

These tropical inspired, fresh fruit flavors are reminiscent of warm weather and an island breeze and come in amazing Mango Sunrise and Aloha Coconut varieties (the latter is available exclusively at Walmart stores).

ChapStick Tropical Paradise collection

No matter if you prefer original or fruit flavors, need traditional or extra protection, or simply are like me and don't leave home without the go-to lip balm product that always keeps lips soft and smooth, there is a ChapStick flavor and formula for everyone. Which one is right for you?

To find out more about these and all of the other fantastic ChapStick products available, be sure to visit and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

Plus, thanks to their generosity, one person will be prepared to keep their lips soft and protected for quite some time to come, because...

One lucky person will win a complete ChapStick prize pack*!

*Prize Pack contains one each of the following ChapStick varieties: ChapStick Classic Range in Original, Strawberry, Cherry, and Spearmint; ChapStick Moisturizer in Raspberry Crème, Original, Green Apple, and Vanilla Mint; ChapStick Tropical Paradise Collection in Mango Sunrise and Aloha Coconut; ChapStick Sun Defense; ChapStick Medicated.

The ChapStick® product, information and monetary gift have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.