Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Today Only: Free Scary Face Pancake at IHOP

Today, on Halloween, kids 12 can under can receive a free Scary Face Pancake at IHOP.  Come to your favorite IHOP® and create the spookiest, kookiest pancake you can imagine using strawberries, 
whipped topping, Mini OREO® cookies, and candy corn.

This offer is valid from 7 am to 10 pm.  One pancake per child.  Dine in only.

Christmas Coloring Books that Are Purr-fect for the Howl-idays - Review and Giveaway

I received products for review from Fox Chapel Publishing.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

One of my favorite and most relaxing hobbies is adult coloring books.  When I color in a picture with markers, gel pens, or colored pencils I can zone out and just focus on the project I'm working on.  I wouldn't consider myself to be an elite, but I get satisfaction out of coloring in the pages.

With the holidays coming up, I'm elated that there's Christmas coloring books I can work on.  The winter months are when I'm most active with coloring, and the two new books from Fox Chapel Publishing are perfect for Christmas.
a sample page from Santa's Kitty Helpers

Fox Chapel Publishing has announced the arrival of two new Christmas coloring books, featuring the artwork of several award-winning artists. Cute Christmas Holiday Coloring Book by Jenny Newland and William Vanderdasson and Santa's Kitty Helpers Holiday Coloring Book by Kayomi Harai join Fox Chapel's imprint DesignOriginals to help ring in this holiday season!

In Cute Christmas, have yourself a furry little Christmas with this heartwarming coloring book featuring happy pets in festive settings. Feel the stress of the holidays vanish as you focus your your mind on the sweet expressions of these beloved creatures. With Santa's Kitty Helpers, colorists will be charmed by the expressive-eyed furry friends depicted in the artistry of acclaimed illustrator Kayomi Harai.

a sample page from Cute Christmas

sample page from Santa's Kitty Helpers

You can't get any cuter with the illustrations presented in each coloring book.  They're whimsical, adorable, and festive.  The pages are perforated so you can tear them out.  I've found that markers can bleed through so you may want to tear a page out of a book before coloring in it to prevent bleed-through.  I've been using colored pencils and gel pens.  The paper the pictures are printed on is of good quality and there's a quote on the backside of each page.  Some of the images are printed in landscape form, while others are presented in portrait form.  These two coloring books will get you in the holiday spirit!

Win It!

One person will win a Cute Christmas Holiday Coloring Book and Santa's Kitty Helpers Holiday Coloring Book.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Random Tuesday Thoughts - Movies and Frights

Random Tuesday Thoughts has made its way back around.  If you'd like to share your randomness, link up at Stacy Uncorked.
Yippee! Yippee!  It's Halloween!

I love Halloween and most everything about it.  I'll be passing out candy to trick-or-treaters tonight.  It's supposed to be colder than a witch's teat but I'm hoping that won't deter the candy crazed costumed kids from coming out.  I live in a neighborhood that's a pretty popular place for Halloween so I'm armed to the gills with cavity-inducing candy.

Anya roasting her wienie

Saturday night I got together with some friends for a wienie roast and scary movie marathon.  We watched Mirrors and Pet Semetary.  I soooo want to see the new Jigsaw movie out in theaters.  It's a film from the Saw franchise.  I know they're kinda gory but I'm amazed at the contraptions that the producers come up with.
Me and Jason getting our scares on
I was lured in the other day by huge signs at Shopko declaring 80-90% clearance prices on their clothes.  I was all ready and willing to come out with bag loads of stuff.  Instead, I came out irritated. 

I'm no dummy; I know that Shopko upmarks their stuff at ridiculous prices so they can still make a pretty penny when their merchandise goes on sale.  Nothing about their "sale" prices indicated a true sale. #ShameOnShopko

Brian and Felicia picking out their gas station supper

Two weeks ago when Jason and I had our vow renewals at Six Flags we ended up staying the night in a Drury Hotel (compliments of our friend, Felicia).  It was late and we were hungry.  But not enough that we wanted to drive anywhere.  So we threw on our shoes and hiked over to the nearest place that was open - a gas station.  Hot dogs and Combos it was!  #HowsThatForRomantic

Adam dining on a Lumberjack Slam

I had a Date Night with my boys Friday.  Before heading up to Six Flags Fright Fest, we stopped at Denny's to dine.  It may be considered "drunk people's food" but you can consider me drunk all day long if I can eat there.  I'm pretty sure God doesn't permit one where I live because He knows I'd commit gluttony.

Adam in his coffin of choice

After eating till our faces were full, we went to Six Flags St. Louis.  There are five haunted houses there that cost extra.  If you don't have a Season Pass, that means $$$.  If you do, I'd say go for it!  I've been to my fair share of haunted houses in the area and, I've got to say, I was impressed with these.  Out of five, only one was a let-down.  I know it's too late to take a visit there this year, but you should keep it in mind for next Halloween.

There is a little side story that I have to tell:  I am directionally challenged.  I know NSEW coordinates but can get lost from one end of town to another.  Well, I went into one particular haunted house with the boys and an additional group of five people.  The place was super, super dark and you had to feel your way around to get out.  I'm halfway through when I notice that nary a soul is around.  I done got left behind!  By the time I found the exit, our group and two others had made their way through.  If I learned anything, it's that Logan and Adam sure weren't gonna save my ass!

Adam and I watched Same Kind of Different As Me in theater last week.  It's a film based on a true story about a marriage on the rocks and how a homeless man helps restore faith in humanity.  There's no big buildup and the plot is pretty monotone, but it carries a strong message of friendship and love. 


Me and Jason went with two other couples to a Christian concert Sunday evening.  Big Daddy Weave, Micah Taylor, and We Are Messengers played to a packed crowd.  It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!  The music was on point and there's something about a large group of people raising their hands in worship to Jesus that will tear at your spirit.

All Suited Up

This is the first year that Jason has taken hunting seriously.  He's got full gear and has been out with his bow and arrow, trying to catch the big 'un.  Just don't call it "catching a deer".  Found out that's a no-no!  So far, no luck.  But maybe he'll be able to catch kill one before season is over.
What's your randomness for the week?
What's your plans for Halloween?
Do you like deer meat?

Monday, October 30, 2017

My Four Biggest Fears

Beings that the holiday of horror (aka Halloween) is tomorrow, I thought I'd share with you my four biggest fears:

1. Dentists - I won't go to the dentist unless absolutely necessary. I had a bad experience as a child and it's put me over the edge ever since.  I can't even get my teeth cleaned without turning into a big, hyperventilating baby.  It's over-the-top anxiety.  The only thing that gets me through it is Nitrous oxide.  Even then, I'm liable to lose my ever lovin' mind. 

2. Worms - My fear has waned a little throughout the years. I can now find myself within the same vicinity as the slimy things, but I refuse to touch one. No way, no how! I blame that fear on my sister. She's been deathly afraid of them ever since I can remember and I think that fear passed on to me.  Our other sister dumped a bunch of worms down her pants when she was a kid.  I got the fear by proxy.

3. Freddy Krueger - I love to watch horror movies and thrillers, but this monster has scarred me for life. He's Satan's spawn, I'm sure of it.  From the first time a girl on the bus explained the first Nightmare on Elm Street movie to me, I became a slave to sleep. Watching the movie made it even worse. I was so terrified of going to sleep that I would hold on to every ounce of staying awake until my eyelids couldn't take it anymore. Some nights I'd sleep in my brother's room so he'd protect me.  He still peed the bed, and his pissy sheets were more a comfort to me than possibly falling asleep and being torn apart from butthole to elbow.  Other nights I'd surround myself with stuffed animals and a plastic Bible keychain. Anything to keep from dying in my sleep by a maniac wielding razors for fingers. To this day, I cannot even stand to see a picture of Freddy.

4. Death - My religious views lead me to believe I'll be in a better place when I die. I'm not afraid of death itself.  I'm afraid of dying.  I hope I'm lucky enough that it will be short and sweet (and not via the hands of Freddy!)

What things are you afraid of?

Dolly Parton: I Believe In You - CD Review

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Country music isn't my preferred genre of choice.  I tend to lean more towards contemporary Christian or rock 'n roll.  But, regardless that she's a female country singer, Dolly Parton is an iconic legend with a voice all its own.  She has amazing vocal talent, and I'm impressed with her work outside of music.

Dolly Parton recently released I Believe In You, her first album written and recorded for kids and those young at heart.  All 14 tracks on I Believe In You were written and performed by Dolly Parton.  As another way to show her generosity, all proceeds of I Believe In You will go to the Imagination Library, a book gifting organization that has mailed more than 100 million books to children throughout the world.

Although this album is geared towards kids, I recommend anyone who is a fan of Dolly's to purchase it.  I personally like every track on the CD, although Together Forever is my absolute favorite.  The messages in each song are positive and inspirational.  Dolly has done quite well with her newest album.

I Believe In You Track Listing
I Believe in You
Coat of Many Colors (new recording)
Together Forever
I Am a Rainbow
I’m Here
A Friend Like You
You Can Do It
You Gotta Be
Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny
Chemo Hero
Brave Little Soldier
Bonus track spoken audio: Coat of Many Colors (book read by Dolly Parton)

The Glass Castle - Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Giveaway

I will receive product for review.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.  This post contains embedded video.
Based on the best-selling memoir written by Jeannette Walls, Oscar® winner Brie Larson (2015, Best Actress, Room) and Oscar® Nominee Woody Harrelson (2009, Best Supporting Actor, The Messenger) star in The Glass Castle, arriving on Digital HD October 24 and Blu-ray™ (plus Digital HD), DVD and On Demand November 7 from Lionsgate. Hailed as “one of the must-see movies of 2017” (Vanity Fair), The Glass Castle chronicles the adventures of a young girl growing up in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads. From the producer of The Shack and The Blind Side, the film also stars Oscar® Nominee Naomi Watts (2012, Best Actress, The Impossible) and Golden Globe® Nominee Max Greenfield (2013, Best Supporting Actor – Television, “New Girl”).

Chronicling the adventures of an eccentric, resilient and tight-knit family, The Glass Castle is a remarkable story of unconditional love. Larson brings Jeannette Walls’s best-selling memoir to life as a young woman who, influenced by the joyfully wild nature of her deeply dysfunctional father (Harrelson), found the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) and written for the screen by Cretton & Andrew Lanham, The Glass Castle features all-new bonus content including a behind-the-scenes featurette and deleted scenes, and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.

9 Deleted Scenes
The Glass Castle: Memoir to Movie
A Conversation with Jeannette Walls
Making of "Summer Storm" by Joel P West
Scoring The Glass Castle

Win It!

One person will win The Glass Castle Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ecuador Mission Trip - Hostel

Jessica, Arianna, and Wilmer

While on our week-long Ecuador mission trip, we stayed at a hostel that works in connection with Pan de Vida.  While there, we had a host family that cooked for us and made sure our needs were met.  Jessica was very quiet but kind.  Wilmer is an amazing cook and works a side job as a sous chef.  And, baby Arianna was the sweetest thing ever.  I swear, I didn't hear her cry once. 

The couple and their baby do not live at the hostel but stay there when mission trips arrive.  Before we left, our group donated a bunch of toiletries and clothes to the family.  They were very grateful.  Jessica gave each lady in our group a piece handmade by her mother.  I received a beautiful green and gold scarf.

Jason hanging out in the living room

 There were four bedrooms with bunks.  All the men stayed in one room, while the ladies split the other three rooms.  Men and women, even couples, were not allowed to sleep together.  As much as I love sleeping with Jason, I had a fun time giggling and dishing dirt with the three girls I bunked with.  It was like sleepaway camp.

my bunk room (I slept on the bottom of the right bunk)

The hostel was located inside a gated courtyard, so it was safe and secure from outsiders.  Oliver (who we aptly named Rufus) was the hostel guard dog and let us know anytime anyone was nearby.  Oliver had a mean bark but I'm not sure he has any bite.  He's about as nice as they come.

Rufus Oliver

What?!! I'm pretty sure they had boogies in their noses.  I was there to help out.

A chalkboard in the kitchen was listed with each of our names, and by day two, had nicknames for each of us.  I was nicknamed Sweetie (which most would die laughing at!).  Jason was named Tonto (Lone Ranger reference).  It was all fun and games until we learned that Tonto means Dum Dum in Spanish!

one of our supper meals

Breakfast was always very light.  Juice was made by blending fresh fruits together (delish) and the milk for cereal was warmed up in a coffee pot (not so delish).  The suppers were amazing though.  I had the best lasagna of my life there.  We ate our fair share of rice!  I can see why Wilmer is a sous chef.  That guy can cook. 

The girls stayed up late the last three nights to put together a 1000-piece puzzle of kittens.  We weren't leaving till that thing was done.  Mission accomplished!

A Very Thankful Prayer - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received book for review from Tommy Nelson.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.


Thank You, God, for autumn! The colorful leaves, crisp air, and cozy snuggles by the fire are the best! Show your child how important it is to see their blessings and express gratitude with A Very Thankful Prayer, a beautiful new board book from bestselling author Bonnie Rickner Jensen.

My Review:

I think we should take our blessings into account throughout the entire year.  But, I know Thanksgiving and the Fall season are when people are most vocal about what they're thankful for.  A Very Thankful Prayer is a board book for young children that depicts different things they might be thankful for, especially throughout Autumn.

Written in rhythmic form and illustrated with cute animal characters, A Very Thankful Prayer talks about thankfulness for farmers' fields, family, pumpkin patches, cozy fires, and more.  This book opens up communication about being thankful, giving prayer, and enjoying this season.
Win It!

One person will win A Very Thankful Prayer children's board book.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Spooky Fun For Seven October Winners

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Night Creepers children's book giveaway is #39, Jana Leah B.

The winner of the Welch's Fruit Rolls giveaway is #67, Michelle Elizondo.

The winner of the Beetology Organic Juices giveaway is #29, LeAnn Harbert.

The winner of the Catdoodles giveaway is #83, stayrobs.

The winner of the Cao Chong Weighs An Elephant children's book giveaway is #28, Julie Waldron.

The winner of the Petmate K9 Control Retractable Leash giveaway is #35, Abigail Gibson.

The winner of the $40 Cinemark Gift Card giveaway is #167, B Alexandra.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to to check and and enter all the currently active giveaways.  They're listed at the top left hand side of my blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 93

Photo by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash

I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 93. If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

1 Kings 8:28 
Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.

Notebook Doodles Amazing Me: Coloring & Activity Book - Review and Giveaway

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
As most everyone knows, one of my favorite hobbies is working with adult coloring books.  I find it to be relaxing and therapeutic.  I own several adult coloring books but just recently learned that some of them are from artist Jess Volinski.  In fact, the books I have from her collection are some of my favorites.  

Notebook Doodles Amazing Me: Coloring & Activity Book is also by Jess Volinski and it's geared towards tweens.  Not only is it a fun book to color in, it is also a place for tweens to share their thoughts and ideas.  

Emma, our 15 year old, has been taking time out some days to work in this coloring diary.  She uses colored pencils and crayons, but other writing instruments could be used.  Each one-sided page is perforated, so pages can easily be torn out.  Or, the tween using it could keep it as a complete book and look back upon it throughout the years.  There are instructions with basic coloring techniques and full-color examples, but don't let that deter you from using your own creativity and imagination.

What I love about this book, and Emma does too, is that it encourages thinking.  For instance, one page is dedicated to "My Family & Me" where you can write down the people in your family, pets, and what being a family might mean.  Another page encourages you to give yourself an amazing compliment and write it down in the large speech bubble.  It's a coloring book that sparks creativity and encouragement, and prompts users to think positively about the things in their life.

Win It!

One person will win Notebook Doodles Amazing Me: Coloring & Activity Book.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Wordful Wednesday - Misty's Halloween Photo Shoot

It's not often I get pictures of Misty.  Usually, if I try, she will look away.  She plays by her own rules.

But, on this particular day, I was able to get quite a few shots of her with my Creepy Characters collection.

I think Misty likes Halloween as much as I do!!

Doodle, Draw & Sketch with Magic Sketch - Review

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

If your child likes to draw, doodle or sketch, there's an 'As Seen on TV' product that would make a great Christmas gift - Magic Sketch.

Don't roll your eyes just yet!  I know some 'As Seen on TV' items aren't worth their weight in gold.  But, I gotta say, the Magic Sketch seems to be worthy.

Magic Sketch is a drawing/art tablet with a flexible, LCD screen that is transparent, allowing kids to trace with the provided stencils or from their own images.  Magic Sketch is from the makers of the hit product Boogie Board who are also the leaders in crystal display technology.

Magic Sketch is designed to be kid-proof, meaning it will withstand some water and take a beating.   With the advanced internal electronics, you can clear the screen with just the push of a button.  There's also a free app that allows you to save, edit, and share your child's work.  I haven't personally tried the app but the tablet itself is entertaining.

Each Magic Sketch retails for $29.95 and includes:
•      Magic Sketch
•      Protector Guard
•      1 Roller
•      3 Stamps
•      20 Learning Stencils
•      20 Games Stencils
•      20 Art Stencils

When your child writes or draws on the Magic Sketch, it will show up in rainbow colors.  It's so easy to erase images when you're done because it just takes the push of a button.  The roller, stamps, and stylus are fun additions when creating designs.  What I like best about the whole thing are the stencils.  To me, they are more like cards than stencils but that's neither here nor there.  Kids can play games, learn math, trace pictures and more by using them with the Magic Sketch.  It brings a fun aspect to learning and creativity.

Magic Sketch requires batteries but they are included and it's claimed that they will last seven years.  The Magic Sketch is a fun tablet in and of itself and I'd recommend it for a kid.  The only downside is that I wish there was a carrying case for it.  Since there's so many pieces, it'd be nice to have them all in one designated place.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Six Flags HalloWedding - Bits and Pieces

After we did the whole marriage/vow renewals at Six Flags, we were let loose to roam the park.  Halloween time is my jam so I was stoked to see the place decorated with all things ghoulish.

Jason and I take "Till Death Do Us Part" seriously.

Monsters gnashing teeth while you're in shackles, and chainsaw-carrying creatures roamed the night.

I loved my wedding 15 years ago but, I gotta admit, the vow renewal was even better!

The Emoji Movie - Blu-ray Review and Giveaway

I received product for review from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Be the movie night hero and bring home the film that kids give two thumbs up to for the ultimate kid’s movie night! It’s time to express yourself when Sony Pictures Animation’s THE EMOJI MOVIE arrives for the first time on Digital on October 10 and on 4K Ultra HD+ Blu-ray + Digital, Blu-ray + Digital and DVD October 24 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The animated comedy unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Anna Faris). Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever.

THE EMOJI MOVIE features an all-star voice cast including T.J. Miller (How To Train Your Dragon) as Gene Meh, James Corden (“Late Late Show with James Corden”) as Hi-5, Anna Faris (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) as Jailbreak, Maya Rudolph (Big Hero 6) as Smiler, Steven Wright (Louie) as Mel Meh, Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie, Legally Blonde) as Mary Meh, Jake T. Austin (“Wizards of Waverly Place”) as phone owner Alex, Grammy® Award Winner Christina Aguilera as Akiko Glitter, Emmy® Award Nominee Sofia Vergara (The Smurfs) as Flamenca, Rachael Ray (“Rachael Ray”) as Spam, Emmy® Award Winner Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”) as “Devil” Steven, and Emmy® Award Nominee Sir Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek: The Next Generation) as Poop.

THE EMOJI MOVIE is filled with interactive bonus materials on the Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, DVD and digital releases that are fun for the entire family to enjoy including the “Good Vibrations” Dance Along and Lyric Video, where you can join along in the dance party. Learn about the amazing dance moves from the film’s celebrity choreographer in “Choreographing Emoji with Matt Steffanina.” Get creative with step-by-step tutorials on how to draw your favorite Emoji’s with two “how to” videos. Go behind-the-scenes of a real-life coding school with the “Girls Who Code” featurette, and get to know everything about the all-star cast in “Express Yourself: Meet the Cast.” Fans will also get to unveil more of the story behind their beloved character in “Jailbreak Decoded: The Untold Story.” Additional featurettes include “Creating the World Inside Your Phone,” “Bringing Emoji’s to Life,” and the very exciting “Puppy! An Original Hotel Transylvania Short.”

In addition to extra content above, exclusive to Blu-ray, fans of all ages will be able to give it their best shot at the “Gimme a Hand! Guess the Emoji Game,” where Hi-5 and Smiler give you clues to help you guess the mystery Emojis. You will also have the chance to get creative with your Halloween Trick-Or-Treat candy with “Sweet App-etite: Make Your Own Candy Crush Inspired Saga Cake.”

THE EMOJI MOVIE is directed by Tony Leondis, with screenplay by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel and Mike White and story by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel. The film is produced by Sony Pictures Animation, with Michelle Raimo Kouyate serving as the producer.

DVD and Digital Bonus Materials Include:
· Director & Animators Commentary
· Puppy! An Original Hotel Transylvania Short
· Jailbreak Decoded: The Untold Story
· "Good Vibrations" Dance Along
· "Good Vibrations" Lyric Video
· Express Yourself: Meet The Cast
· Girls Can Code!
· Choreographing Emoji With Matt Steffanina
· Creating the World Inside Your Phone
· Bringing Emojis to Life
· How To Draw Poop
· How To Draw Gene

Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Materials Include:
Everything listed above, plus:
· Gimme a Hand! Guess the Emoji Game
· Sweet App-etite: Make Your Own Candy Crush Inspired Saga Cake

4K Ultra HD Includes:
· Feature film in 4K resolution with HDR & Dolby Atmos audio
· Blu-ray with above bonus materials

THE EMOJI MOVIE has a run time of approximately 91 minutes and is rated PG: for Rude Humor.

My Review:

Emojis are an "in" thing right now.  You can find them in all sorts of merchandise, and can choose from hundreds of them in apps and on social media.  The Emoji Movie plays on some of our favorite emojis with a wacky and laughable film centered around Textopolis (aka, a Smartphone) that's owned by a boy named Alex.  Gene, the "meh" emoji, is the only one of all who has more than one emotion.  Because of his difference, Gene gets outcast and meets with other emojis who don't get used very often.  Gene runs into a few problems, including a chase with robots.  Alex, the phone owner, starts to get worried that his phone has a glitch in it because of all the apps and emojis doing their own thing which, in turn, causes a panic.  In the end, Gene gains some friends and he learns that it's okay to be different.

There's a lot of ad placement and you might recognize popular apps that you have installed on your phone.  The Emoji Movie isn't highly adventurous or original but it's an entertaining movie to watch with the kids.  There's a lot of bonus material that we enjoyed toying with, with one of my favorites being the "Good Vibrations" Dance Along

Win It!

One person will win The Emoji Movie prize pack that includes:
1 Blu-ray copy of The Emoji Movie
1 Poop Pillow
6 Emoji Beanie Babies
1 Fidget Spinner
1 Emoji Encyclopedia Book

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
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Make Halloween Organically Spooky with Go Organically

I received products in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Make Halloween Organically Spooky!

We know Halloween is mostly for kids, but we can't help but get a little excited about it each year. The candy! The costumes! The excuse to dress our dog up like a little pumpkin! This year, Go Organically has decided to celebrate Halloween in a way that's a little more natural and a little less plastic. The idea is to still have fun while starting sustainable traditions for our families and for the earth. They're calling it "Organically Spooky!" Check out these tips:

Skip the store-bought costume and swap last year's costumes with a friend. Or become a DIY creator with objects found around your home and/or a local thrift store. You'll save money, boost creativity and keep waste out of landfills. While there are tons of super-crafty ideas on Pinterest, we're all about simple:

Ghost: The classic easy homemade costume. Cut eye and mouth holes out of an old bedsheet and voila!

Cowboy/Cowgirl: Pair a plaid shirt with denim bottoms, tie a red handkerchief around their neck, and add a hat from your dress-up trunk.

Athlete: Have kids don their sports uniforms to become an instant baseball player or soccer star.

Rocker: Think ripped jeans, faded T-shirt, big hair and toy guitar.

From patch to porch, it just isn't Halloween without jack-o'-lanterns. Some pumpkin pointers:

Curate: Rather than buy pumpkins at a supermarket or commercial pumpkin patch, head to a local farm and pick your own.

Carve: When it comes time to carve, remember that you can use those lovely pumpkin guts for breads, soups and muffins, and even roast the pumpkin seeds for a delicious seasonal snack.

Create: For a no-carve design with a natural feel, drape your pumpkin in cotton kitchen twine to mimic a tangled spider web.

Whether you head to a local Trunk or Treat or go door to door, Trick or Treating is the ultimate Halloween rite of passage for kids. Some favorite treat ideas:

Candy Alternatives: Think outside the candy wrapper with kid-friendly snack alternatives. Try snack-size pretzel bags, individual hot cocoa packets, and Go Organically organic fruit snacks. These dairy-free kids snacks come in single-serve pouches for easy distribution!

Non-food Treats: Have a gluten-free goblin or nut-free ninja at your house? Or know a food sensitive kiddo who might stop by? Hand out non-food treats like stickers, bubbles, pencils or temporary tattoos.

Other Spooky Swaps
Treat Bags: Instead of a carrying a plastic pumpkin or bag for that Trick or Treat haul, use a pillowcase or reusable canvas tote that your kids can decorate themselves.

Decorations: Store-bought spiders and witches are fun, but try decorating with items found in nature or other objects from your home. Put out a centerpiece of colorful gourds, or cut ghosts and bats out of recyclable construction paper.

Dessert: Making a cake for a Halloween party? Swap out sprinkles or candy toppings for Go Organically gluten free fruit snacks. They're excellent for spelling out the word "Boo!"

Be sure to follow Go Organically on Facebook for more kid-friendly ideas.