Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scholastic Storybook Treasures Giveaway just in time for the Election!

"Mark Your Ballot!
And Introduce Kids to the Electoral Process with Scholastic Storybook Treasures

The award-winning SCHOLASTIC STORYBOOK TREASURES series ( offers videos that are perfect to entertain and inform future citizens. These two acclaimed DVDs teach kids about American history and the electoral process via great storytelling and lively narration and animation.

So You Want To Be President? ... and More Stories To Celebrate American History
This DVD  includes an animated adaptation of Judith St. George’s Caldecott Medal-winning book, narrated by Emmy® Award-winning actress Stockard Channing, and other stories about America’s vibrant political life (available now from various retailers, $14.95srp).  This lighthearted roundup of anecdotes and trivia could be a guide for aspiring presidential candidates: for example, it might boost your odds of being elected if your name is James (the moniker of six former presidents) or if your place of birth was a humble dwelling (“You probably weren't born in a log cabin. That’s too bad. People are crazy about log-cabin Presidents. They elected eight”).

Additional stories include the adaptation of My Senator and Me: A Dog’s Eye View of Washington D.C., a tail-waggingly funny story written by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy; Madam President, based on the witty book about a girl who dreams of occupying the Oval Office, written and illustrated by Lane Smith; and I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote, based on the book by Linda Arms White. The last story tells how one girl's gumption propels her through a life filled with challenges until, in 1869, she wins the vote for women in Wyoming Territory.

For parents planning to see the epic motion picture Lincoln, it’s easy to share a bit of Lincoln history with your kids. The amazing Lincoln Douglass: An American Friendship … and more Stories about American History, is narrated by Danny Glover and features a behind-the-scenes interview with acclaimed author Nikki Giovanni, who wrote the original picture book. Other stories on this DVD include the Pilgrims of Plimoth; John, Paul, George, & Ben; and The Journey of The One & Only Declaration of Independence (available now from various retailers $14.95 SRP)."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

AVEENO Oatmeal Bundle Giveaway!

"Did you know that this coming Monday, October 29th is National Oatmeal Day? With Oat being a lead ingredient in many AVEENO® products, National Oatmeal Day is one of our favorite days!

In honor of this fabulous Oat holiday, we would love to offer an oat-themed giveaway featuring some of our classic ACTIVE NATURALS® Oat products. On Monday, 10/29, celebrate with us by offering two lucky readers “The AVEENO® Oat Bundle” containing our favorite Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, Skin Relief Lotion and Skin Relief Body Wash. This ultra-moisturizing giveaway will send the winners sailing into the winter season with beautiful, healthy skin!"

Mike & Ike's Mummy Mix Review...

Description: MI-Ike
Trick or Treat With MIKE AND IKE®
Introducing New Mummy’s Mix
"Just Born, Inc., makers of the MIKE AND IKE®, PEEPS®, HOT TAMALES® and GOLDENBERG’S® PEANUT CHEWS® brand candies, confirmed that the legendary candy duo, Mike and Ike have parted ways. The pair cited irreconcilable creative differences, which has been confirmed, suggesting that Mike and Ike will stop collaborating on their famous fruit chewy candies.
MIKE AND IKE® candy, with varieties such as Original Fruits, Tropical Typhoon®, Berry Blast®, Red Rageous!™ and others, will continue to be offered at retailers this Halloween despite the split. Consumers will see no changes in flavors or distribution. These tasty treats are perfect for Halloween trick or treaters! 
Well before Mike and Ike split, they developed a new product offering for Halloween 2012 called MIKE AND IKE® Mummy's Mix.  Ike created Halloween themed artwork complete with a scary mummy on the front of the box.  Mike picked the 5 most appropriate autumn colors from the vast fruit candy assortment:  yellow, orange, purple, green, and red.  It's a shame they split up before the new product launched for this Halloween season.  The New MIKE AND IKE® Mummy’s Mix is available in a 5 oz box which is perfect for Halloween parties as a gift or as a candy dish item.

MIKE AND IKE® candy is available in various pack sizes boxes from snack to take-home bags at prices ranging from 25-cents to a few dollars.  They can be found in supermarkets, mass market retailers and drug stores. 

The independent and talented duo has decided to follow their true passions. Mike is a musician at heart and produced a music video; Ike is an urban artist and a lover of art. Their split is not unlike that of other famous celebrity duos like Simon and Garfunkel or Lennon and McCartney.
“People of all ages love MIKE AND IKE® and we are reassuring fans and our retail partners that our famous fruit-chewy candies will continue to be produced and sold  this Halloween as we get this resolved,” says Caitlin O’Connor, Assistant Marketing Manager for Just Born."

What we thought:  We love Mike & Ike candies and we hope they get back together soon:)  In the meantime, the kiddos and I are really enjoying the Mummy Mix!  The bright colors and fruity flavors are perfect for our Halloween candy dish and the smaller sized bags are perfect for passing out the to the trick or treaters.  ABCD Diaries gives Mike & Ike Mummy Mix an A+!

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Casper's Scare School DVD Review and Giveaway...

"Classic Media, a global media company with a portfolio of some of the world’s leading family entertainment brands, today announced that the second season of the popular CGI-animated series Casper’s Scare School® will air on Cartoon Network in the US beginning October 2, 2012. The series, starring everyone’s favorite ghostCasper the Friendly Ghost®,features twelve-minute episodes that will air Monday through Friday at 11:00 a.m. EST/PST.


Like most kids, Casper loves hanging out with friends — but his friends are real monsters! And at Scare School, where they have been “molding monstrous minds for 10,000 years,” that’s a good thing.  In fact, the scarier the better!  Whether howling at the moon, or taking off their arms to literally ‘lend a hand,’ these are definitely not your average students and Casper is no ordinary ghost.  He’s a unique spirit who’d rather make friends than frighten, and he just doesn’t understand why humans (a.k.a. “fleshies”) and creatures can't get along, especially since his best friend IS a “fleshie”!  Casper’s determination to be a friendly ghost makes his education at Scare School a challenge, but with his big heart and the support of his friends, Casper is sure to succeed no matter what obstacles head his way.

With the start of a brand new school year, Casper’s adventures at Scare School have gotten a whole lot crazier, a whole lot creepier and even more “fleshie”-frightening than ever before! So get ready because Season 2 of Casper’s Scare School is filled with enchanted ghost ships, possessed jack-in-the-boxes, mischievous superheroes, herds of Bog Monsters, boys that turn into ghosts and werewolves that want to be boys…and that’s just the beginning!"

What we thought:  The kiddos loved this DVD!  It was just the right amount of "scary" for our 4 and 6 year olds.  Each episode teaches important lessons like being proud of who you are,  how to be a good friend and how to deal with bullies.  Make sure to tune in for brand new episodes this season!  ABCD Diaries gives Casper's Scare School an A+!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stretch Island Fruit Co.: A Healthy Halloween Treat Review...

With Halloween being just around the corner, Stretch Island Fruit Co.'s fruit snacks and “Green Halloween” initiative could the perfect goodie for this year's trick or treaters!

"Stretch Island Fruit Co. is encouraging parents nationwide to align with the Green Halloween initiative to “think outside the candy box” and provide trick-or-treaters with healthier, more earth-friendly snacks including Stretch Island Fruit Strips and FruitaBü Fruit Rolls. Free of artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, additives and synthetic preservatives, each Stretch Island Fruit Strip equals one-half serving of real fruit and is available in fun, naturally colorful flavors ranging from Summer Strawberry, to Harvest Grape and even Mango Sunrise.  FruitaBü Fruit Rolls are equally free of anything artificial, and offer one whole serving of fruit in its Strawberry, Grape and Apple varieties."

Check out these FruitaBü Fruity Mummies, a fun and tasty Halloween craft for parents and kids to tackle together.  Wrap grape and strawberry fruit rolls around a rice krispy treat, add chocolate chips or raisins for eyes and voila!  The perfect party treat!

What we thought:  Of course the kiddos love these, but I admit, I snuck into them too.  They are THE. BEST. FRUIT. SNACKS. EVER. Seriously, they are delicious and the best part is that they are made from real fruit and use only natural fruit flavors and sugars.  Woohoo!  These would be great to pass out to the kiddos this Halloween and perfect for packing in lunches or having for afternoon snack or any time really:)  These fruit rolls will definitely be a staple in our pantry!  ABCD Diaries gives Stretch Island Fruit Co. an A+!

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Scrubbing Bubbles + fantastik Review...

"Fall is here and with fall comes “kitchen season!” From after school activities to tailgating to Thanksgiving dinner, there are many occasions to be in the kitchen – and opportunities for messes! After 40 years as a hardworking ally in the bathroom; Scrubbing Bubbles® has merged with the power of fantastik® to tackle America’s toughest kitchen messes. 

Products include:
·         NEW! Scrubbing Bubbles® Total Kitchen Foaming All Purpose Cleaner with fantastik® stays where you spray and instantly goes to work with the power of fantastik®. A light foam, it is specially formulated for your kitchen to cut through grease and grime, leaving a brilliant shine and fresh citrus scent.
·         Scrubbing Bubbles® All Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner with fantastik®
·         Bleach 5-in-1 Scrubbing Bubbles® All Purpose Cleaner with fantastik®
·         Oxy Power Scrubbing Bubbles® Grease & Stain Remover with fantastik®
·         Scrubbing Bubbles® All Purpose Lemon Power Cleaner with fantastik®

To learn more about the Scrubbing Bubbles® lineup of kitchen products with fantastik®, visit Scrubbing Bubbles® on the official Facebook Page at, on Twitter at or"

What we thought:  We are loving these new Scrubbing Bubbles products!  We used to use both Scrubbing Bubbles products AND fantastik, so we were so excited to find that they combined to make a wide range of "Super Cleaners" as I like to call them:)  Let these two big names do the hard work and get your house squeaky clean just in time for those holiday guests!  ABCD Diaries gives Scrubbing Bubbles + fantastik an A+!

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Energizer Promotes Safety + Giveaway!

"In a recent CDC weekly report it again raises awareness that serious injuries and medical complications caused by coin lithium battery digestion is on the rise.  I wanted to share some information with you about what Energizer is doing to help promote child safety and offer a solution to the problem.   

Energizer is the first to introduce a significant packaging improvement designed to reduce the occurrence of ingestions of coin-sized button batteries by children and the associated medical complications. The innovative new packaging, coming soon to store shelves nationwide, is made from more durable and flexible materials that make it very difficult for young children to open.  This new packaging meets Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines for child-resistant packaging. In addition to deterring children from getting into the package, Energizer has added easily understood icons on the front of the package to let parents know to keep the batteries away from small children, along with detailed warning copy advising of the danger of ingesting coin cell batteries and how to get help if they are swallowed. While the transition at retail may take some time, it is fully expected to be complete prior to the upcoming Holiday season.

In addition, last year, the company teamed up with Safe Kids to establish The Battery Controlled to help raise awareness of the"

In conjunction with this post, Energizer has offered 2 winners who each win 2 packages of Energizer Coin Lithium 2032 batteries.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Michael Angelo's Review + Sweepstakes!

"Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods – the family owned and operated maker of fresh and authentic frozen Italian meals – is offering one grand prize winner an eight-day trip for two through the Trip to Italy sweepstakes. Winners will stay in a private villa with the Michael Angelo’s family, and will tour the region throughout the trip, including an exclusive event at Castello Banfi. Founder and CEO Michael and his mom Sara spend a great deal of time in Italy, and they make great tour guides!
The sweepstakes is open now through November 4, 2012. This is the second annual Michael Angelo’s Trip to Italy sweepstakes, and the first is documented in this video." 

"Open a Michael Angelo’s gourmet Italian entrée, smell the aroma, and usher the world of fine Italian cooking into your home. Each of our delicious appetizers, entrées and sauces is handcrafted from Sara’s authentic Italian recipes, using only the natural, wholesome ingredients found in a genuine Italian kitchen.

Unlike many frozen-food companies, we have no warehouse. We cook our meals from scratch every single day, grinding our own beef and mixing our own special sauces. Then, we package and ship them to your local store within 36 hours. They would only be fresher if you made them yourself."

What we thought:  We very rarely eat frozen pre-made dinners, but since trying Michael Angelo's that has changed!  The next time I want a hearty, delicious meal and I don't want to spend a lot of time preparing an Italian dinner, Michael Angelo's will come to the rescue:)  The Eggplant Parmesan was some of the best we've ever had and that's saying something!  Usually I don't feel like a frozen entree can provide my family with the same amount of flavor as a home cooked meal can, but I think Michael Angelo's does!  We also tried the vegetable lasagna and the chicken scampi and really enjoyed them both.  The Eggplant Parmesan really exceeded my expectations though:)  ABCD Diaries gives Michael Angelo's an A+!

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Dove-Approved October DVD Releases from Entertainment One...


Featuring lessons of acceptance, honesty, teamwork and understanding, THE ADVENTURES OF SCOOTER THE PENGUIN is a new CG animated family-friendly  feature in the tradition of The Penguins of Madagascar and Ice Age,arriving on DVD this October from Entertainment One! 

Scooter is a unique little bird from a lost colony of penguins known for their amazing speed and strength. Abandoned before he was even hatched, Scooter is taken in by a family of silver penguins who encourage his talents. Still, Scooter feels like he doesn’t belong. It is not until he learns lessons of love and self-worth that he returns to his village and saves the day.

Format: DVD/Single
Run time: 80 mins.       
Rating: NR
Street: October 9


Move over Sherlock Holmes -- the nosiest, furriest private eye to ever solve a case is hard at work in TROOPER AND THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN KEY, a new Dove-approved family friendly film that'll have kids howling with glee when it arrives on DVD this October!

Trooper the Bloodhound is a natural-born sleuth who lives in a town that has a mysterious legend…a legend of a Golden Key that could be worth one million dollars. But when Trooper and his owner, 10 year-old Tommy, try to find the key, they run into unexpected danger. Will these best friends be able to unlock the legend before it is too late? One thing’s for sure...with Trooper the Bloodhound on the case, things are bound to get interesting!"

Format: DVD/Single
Run time: 81 mins.       
Rating: N/A
Street: October 16

What we thought:  If you are looking for kid-friendly, Dove-approved, family-fun DVDs for fall family-movie nights, Scooter and Trooper would be great picks!  Scooter is a fun animated movie about a penguin and the kiddos really enjoyed it.  Trooper is a live-action movie and even B and I got in on solving the case:)  Both movies are a lot of fun and teach a lesson along the way, which in my opinion makes a movie worth watching for the kiddos!  ABCD Diaries gives the newest releases from Entertainment One an A+! 

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Escalator" by David Tobocman CD Review...

"David Tobocman’s third album for children is packed with high-energy songs about the excitement of growing up. Rocking and straightforward with an emphasis on movement, Escalator
is infused with a “let’s go” spirit and true sense of fun. There’s a song about a young race car that dreams of hitting the open road and a family camper that can travel through space. All through Escalator, David presents the theme of striving and advancing, urging kids onto life’s great adventure, to “move on up” with optimism and spirit up the great big escalator and “if you’re going down, then use the stairs.” 

What we thought:  This was a really fun CD!  David Tobocman's lyrics are fun and encouraging and the music is upbeat and really enjoyable.  We had a great time listening to the imaginative songs on this CD.  Check out the website to download a free song and sample more of David's work! ABCD Diaries gives "Escalator" an A+!  

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a copy of this CD for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

VeggieTales The League of Incredible Vegetables DVD Review...

"The first-ever VeggieTales superhero title, VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables, will be available starting today, October 16! The title helps teach a lifelong lesson in handling fear, one of the most requested subject topics by VeggieTales fans and families, and includes a brand-new League theme song and music video by Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning group, Newsboys.

VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables is the fourth title in a series of DVD releases that stars the popular “LarryBoy” character. The DVD also introduces four new superheroes played by beloved VeggieTales characters Bob the Tomato, Petunia Rhubarb, Junior Asparagus and Mr. Lunt, all with hilarious superhero abilities. In addition to engaging bonus features, the DVD contains fun music fit for families, and an all-new Silly Song, “Supper Hero.”

DVD Synopsis
It was a bright and sunny day in Bumblyburg until Dr. Flurry came to town. This chillin' villain wants to freeze the entire city in fear! This job is too big for LarryBoy to handle alone, so he turns to "The League of Incredible Vegetables" for help! Thingamabob (Bob the Tomato), S-Cape (Mr. Lunt), Vogue (Petunia Rhubarb) and Ricochet (Junior Asparagus) are up for the task, but find that their own fears could land them in Dr. Flurry's deep freeze!  Will they remember to turn to the One who is bigger than all their fears before the whole town ends up on ice?  Find out in this heroic new VeggieTales episode with a lesson in handling fear!" 

What we thought:  The kiddos loved The League of Incredible Vegetables!  This was a fun movie and great for teaching the important lesson of how to deal with fear.  The super-hero characters were awesome and kept the kiddos engaged and entertained.  We are huge fans of the VeggieTales series and this latest addition to the library certainly does not disappoint!  ABCD DIaries gives The League of Incredible Vegetables an A+!

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a copy of this DVD for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Grammaropolis Teaching Aides Review...

"Educators recognize that good grammar is a fundamental part of a child’s education. Top employers are dismayed to interview job applicants whose sense of grammar is sketchy, as a recent NY Times discussion points out.  Grammar is an important language skill that helps speakers and writers communicate clearly. But how can this usually dry topic be made more accessible and fun, so that kids will want to learn?
Enter Grammaropolis, a fun new “place” for kids ages 7 and up. Grammaropolis  (founded by a Houston based dad and educator) employs stories, animation, music and interactive games to ease the way toward smarter grammar skills. This learning website has won a 2012 Parents’ Choice Approved Award, a 2012 NAPPA Award and The 2012 National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval. A new Grammaropolis app is coming soon.
Over the past year, Coert Voorhees (with the help of acclaimed kindie pop star Doctor Noize) created a full-length music album and website incorporating his story-based, interactive curriculum, which includes songs, books, videos, games and quizzes. Grammaropolis portrays the parts of speech as animated characters whose personalities are based on the roles they play in the sentence.
Today, hundreds of teachers in dozens of states and 15 countries are using Grammaropolis in the classroom, and parents and kids everywhere are discovering how much fun it is to explore the different “neighborhoods” of Grammaropolis. The CD has won national awards and acclaim, plus top 10 rotation on SiriusXM satellite radio’s national “Kids Place Live” show. And the testimonials for are pouring in.
The full Grammaropolis curriculum is available now on a subscription basis (anyone can test out the Nouns neighborhood for free!). Two Grammaropolis books have also been published this year, all available from"

What we thought:  What a fun way to teach grammar!  This set was a little bit over the heads of our 3 and 6 year olds, but we will be implementing it next year in our 2nd grade curriculum.  The kiddos can relate to the superhero characters of the parts of speech a lot more than just reading definitions.  The fun, colorful characters and their personalities will really stick in their heads and help them remember the definitions. Awesomeness!  By combining both visual (books) and audio (CD) tools, I'm sure this lesson will stick:)  ABCD Diaries gives Grammaropolis an A+!

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.

"Blue Clouds" by Elizabeth Mitchell CD Review...

"Over the course of six beautiful albums in nearly 15 years, Elizabeth Mitchell has invited listeners to join her, husband Daniel Littleton, their daughter Storey, and other friends and relatives to become part of an extended musical family. On Blue Clouds (out October 23), she raises her special kind of family-centric music to new heights by bringing clarity and beauty to a surprising range of songs. Breathing contemporary heart into traditional folk songs, and transforming classic rock songs by David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, and others into folk songs, Mitchell continues to grow that family of listeners with each album and concert. And while the family has grown, with well over 100,000 of her records bringing comfort and joy, Blue Clouds still makes Mitchell’s audience feel like they are part of a small picnic jam session.

The recordings on Blue Clouds are illuminated by elegant and simple arrangements, with acoustic guitars, harmoniums, banjos, pianos, fiddles, glockenspiels, and gentle drums and bass creating a soulful atmosphere for Mitchell’s clear and loving voice. The songs range from new compositions (“Rollin’ Baby,” “Arm in Arm”) to traditional tunes (“Hop Up, My Ladies,” “Froggie Went a-Courtin’”), to several unexpected covers. Mitchell looks to her childhood memories of 1970s radio on road trips in the family station wagon, and the resulting versions of “Kooks” by David Bowie, “May This Be Love” by Jimi Hendrix, “Blue Sky” by The Allman Brothers Band, “Everyone” by Van Morrison, and “I Wish You Well” by Bill Withers display Mitchell’s care in presenting popular material in a family music context.

Mitchell is also a founding member of the veteran indie rock band Ida and is one of Smithsonian Folkways’ best-selling artists alongside Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Ella Jenkins. Her previous Smithsonian Folkways releases are Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie (2012), Sunny Day (2010), and You Are My Little Bird (2006). Starting with the album You Are My Flower, recorded in 1998 in a single afternoon as a gift for friends and family, Mitchell has developed into an accomplished artist with a devoted fan base and critical acclaim."

Selected family concerts with Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower"
October 21 - Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago
October 28 - Tricycle Music Festival, San Francisco
November 3 - Town Hall, Seattle
November 4 - Village Ballroom, Portland, OR
November 11 - Eddie's Attic, Decatur, GA
December 8 - One Longfellow Square, Portland, ME
December 15 - Symphony Space, NYC

Get updates at 

What we thought:  We love the cool, comfortable sounds of Elizabeth Mitchell.  Her music is uplifting and a lot of fun.  Most of her songs are mellow and perfect for creating a calm, light-hearted mood, which makes them great for the classroom!  The kiddos and I really enjoyed listening to "Blue Clouds":)  ABCD Diaries gives this CD an A+!

Disclosure: ABCD Diaries was given a copy of this CD for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone.