Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Disney Publishing... It's A Small World

Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines, is dominating the App Store charts with six new children’s titles in the Books, Entertainment, and Education categories. Entering the New Year as a leading publisher of children’s book apps, Disney Publishing has garnered more than 7 million App Store downloads to-date with apps including:

 "Beauty and the Beast: Storybook Deluxe" – Rated 5-stars by Common Sense Media, this app - newly released in 3-D - allows children to experience a tale as old as time in storybook form. Complete with games, movie clips, puzzles, coloring pages, and sing-along songs from the film, kids will find a surprise on every page. Hear the story read aloud, record your own narration, or explore at your own pace. (MSRP $6.99)

Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!” – Rated as one of the “Best Apps in 2011” by iTunes, this app features the creative work of three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems, who brings the Pigeon to the digital screen with this original, feature-rich, animated app. The app lets users create your own Pigeon stories and is fully animated with hilarious shake-and-play technology and customized voice integration. (MSRP $6.99)

"It's A Small World" – Recommended by Consumer Reports, this app gives families a chance to experience the “It’s A Small World” ride, song, and lyrics in an inspiring new way. Taking readers on a world-class adventure, the app is packed with whimsical interactivity, beautiful artwork by illustrator Joey Chou, and unforgettable music. Featuring the original Sherman Brothers’ song lyrics, this simple, poetic story encourages kids to meet new people, explore new places, and discover that it’s a small world, after all. (MSRP $3.99)

Pooh’s Birthday Surprise” – Rated 5-stars by Common Sense Media, this storybook app features Winnie the Pooh illustrations and exciting tap-and-play animation designed to help children acquire and reinforce early literacy and pre-math concepts. As children read along with the word-by-word narration, they are invited to join in the birthday party planning with their favorite friends in the Hundred-Acre Wood. (MSRP $4.99)

"Toy Story Showtime!" – Rated as one of “15 Fantastic iPad Apps for Kids” by Apple Gazette, this storybook app is designed to help children explore essential early reading concepts. Kids are invited to join Buzz Lightyear as he sets out to impress Jessie the Cowgirl in the talent show. As Buzz tries his luck at everything from comedy to juggling, emerging readers discover new vocabulary words in the context of a rich, interactive storytelling experience. (MSRP $4.99)

I was given the opportunity to try one of these apps by Disney Publishing. I chose "It's a Small World". Although I do not personally have little ones, the children that I babysit enjoyed this app. They range in age from 2-4 and this, IMHO, is the perfect age group for this particular app.

As expected from Disney, the graphics are great. The application is colorful and a little interactive. My kids enjoyed tapping around to see what they would find. Their favorite was the areas that they could set off fireworks and pop balloons. Plus my kids have learned to say "Hello" in several different languages. Of course, you have to help them. I tell them the language and let them listen to the pronunciation. My 4 year old already knows how to say Hello in French, Hawaiian, Italian and Swahili. So cute.

My only gripe is that the sing-along does not include the full lyrics. Although, it does continue on in verse form throughout the rest of the app. I also expected more along the lines of learning about different countries and cultures.

All in all, it's a cute application. I love Disney and this is a nice addition to my Disney Apps folder.Again, it is primarily for kids between 2-4. Children 5 and up ( or even an older 4) might find it bit boring. This is simply a short storybook poem with a bit of interactivity thrown in. But the kids were entertained with it for a short while.  It's not really an app that will hold their attention for a long period of time. They do love the song plus I have shown them video of the ride as well. They are now pestering their parents to take them to Disney World. You're Welcome!

All Disney Publishing apps are available from the App Store on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch or at

For more information, visit and, or follow @DisneyReads on Twitter.

This post was written for Family Review Network & Disney Publishing who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Halo Purely for Pets

This review is a bit difficult to write since technically, I am not the actual reviewer. I'm not quite into eating pet food. So, let me introduce you to Kassie.
She is an almost 2 year old Yorkshire Terrier and she has been a Halo Pet since she moved in with us at the age of 4 months. She loves her food & I love that what I am feeding her is good for her.

Holistic Nutrition Made with Only the Best Real Food Ingredients.Holistic Nutrition Made with Only the Best Real Food Ingredients
I feed her both the Halo Spot's Stew Dry & Canned Food Recipes.  The dry recipe comes in 3 varieties. Chicken, Lamb & Salmon. I alternate between the lamb & the chicken. The salmon gives her fish breath which isn't very pleasant. The canned recipe comes in the same varieties but also has a beef option. Again, I feed her all but the salmon. I know that salmon is rich in Omega 3 and all, but dang, her breath smells nasty!

If I let her, she could scarf up a whole can of food, so I just mix a spoonful into her dry food in the morning. In the evening, she just gets dry kibble and she's fine with that. BUT, if I try to feed her just dry kibble in the morning, she get's mad and won't eat until I add her spoonful of wet food!  Soooo, spoiled!

When you open up a can, you can see huge chunks of meat and actual vegetables. I also like that I can pronounce most of the ingredients on the label! Yes, it is a bit on the pricier side, but they always have coupons on their website. That, plus buying when it's on sale at Petco is a huge help. Plus my Kassie Poo is worth it!

You can sign up for Halo's newsletter and they'll send you a coupon for 2 free cans of food. That way, you can try it out for FREE! So you have nothing to lose and your pet will thank you.

***The opinions expressed are strictly my own. No payment or compensation was received for this review***

Monday, February 6, 2012

Be Kind to Your Heart

We interrupt your regular program for a quick PSA. February is heart month. I urge you all to take care of your hearts. My personal blog has annual reminders but you can basically get my full story here.

One in three American women die from heart disease, making it the leading killer of women in America. In 2002, heart disease killed more women than breast cancer, lung cancer and strokes combined, according to statistics from the National Heart Lung and Blood institute.

Have a heart. A healthy one. Make a promise to love- and protect- your heart today!

Ironically, February 11th  marks the 10 Year anniversary of when I had my heart attack.  I am so very lucky to still be around to bug the heck out of everyone. So consider yourselves bugged!

Visit Go Red For Women to learn the facts, be aware of the warning signs and get yourself checked out.