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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Carving

It's nearly Halloween and little Brandon picked up a perfect-sized pumpkin from his pumpkin patch school field trip. Brandon designed his jack-o-lantern by drawing on paper first. Then he drew his final design on the pumpkin and I helped him cut out the shapes. I guess he wanted a cat face for his jack-o-lantern. Cute!

Here are a some photos of him digging out the pumpkin "goo"...

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Disney "Big Hero 6" XPRIZE Challenge Winners

XPRIZE, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Disney Corporate Citizenship announced the winners of the DISNEY BIG HERO 6 – XPRIZE CHALLENGE today. Much like the characters in Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” people between the ages of 8 and 17 were asked to harness their creativity and come up with innovative ideas to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges using science, technology, engineering, art and/or mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.).

Hundreds of videos were submitted and narrowed down to 20 finalists. From there, 6 winners were selected based on a combination of public voting and the scores from a panel of judges: Dr. Ed Catmull, President of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios; Gwynne Shotwell, president and CEO of SpaceX; Dean Kamen, an inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of FIRST ®; Anousheh Ansari, co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems (and the first female private space explorer); and Jon Snoddy, VP, Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development.

The real-life “Big Hero 6” is comprised of:

Kamran Ansari, age 9, of Tustin, California, devised a product packaging rating system in order to educate consumers on the wastefulness of a product’s packaging. His system enables the consumer to make environmentally conscious decisions and reduce their carbon footprint.

Jasmyne Mendoza, age 11, of Seattle, Washington, developed a solution to world hunger by constructing a biosphere where salt water from our oceans is evaporated and distilled into clean drinking water.

Dominick Quaye, age 12, of San Leandro, California, proposed a way to generate clean energy through the use of a high-altitude power generator held in place by massive weather balloons.

Chase Lewis, age 15, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, invented a way to deliver emergency smoke masks to people trapped in burning buildings through the use of a football-shaped pod he designed and tested.

Carolyn Mennecke, age 17, of Rochester, Minnesota, proposed a more effective way to improve windshield visibility using ultraviolet light sensors to reduce the glare of the sun at dawn and dusk.

Kelsey Ann Murobayshi, age 17, of Honolulu, Hawaii, envisioned an innovative solution to safer and environmentally friendly transportation through the use of self-driving “pods”.

Said Catmull, "Watching the finalists’ submissions, I was so impressed by the creativity and passion in each of their videos. It was an absolute pleasure to be part of this judging panel. We look forward to hosting them at the Hollywood premiere of ‘Big Hero 6.’"

"At XPRIZE, we believe that innovation can come from anywhere and that the most effective way to address the world’s biggest problems is by tasking the public to come up with solutions," said Trish Halamandaris, senior vice president marketing & communications at XPRIZE. "The creativity and ingenuity of the submissions for this contest reinforce this belief and prove that these young people are not the innovators of tomorrow but rather the innovators of today."

The winners will travel to Los Angeles in November for three days of innovation and inspiration, including a private tour of Walt Disney Animation Studios, a meet-and-greet with the creative minds at Disney Imagineering, a special Visioneering™ experience at XPRIZE headquarters, and a walk down the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of Disney’s Big Hero 6.

In addition, they’ll each be reimbursed for one (1) contestant registration for FIRST ® LEGO League for the 2014-2015 competition season and receive a Special littleBits® NASA Space Kit and cloudBit™ Starter Kit.

Supporting XPRIZE Partners include FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), littleBits Electronics and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

To view the winning videos, please visit


From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind “Frozen” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” comes “Big Hero 6,” an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit), a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter). When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voice of Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (voice of Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voice of Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voice of T.J. Miller). Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.” Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring breathtaking action with all the heart and humour audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”). The film hits theatres in 3D on Nov. 7, 2014. For more information, check out, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter:


Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $2.25M Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, and the $2M Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. For more information, go to

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kids Academy Apps: Preschool & Kindergarten Learning Kids Games

Preschool and Kindergarten Learning Kids Games

This app is created to make fun more educational! The app goes beyond simply great graphics and beautiful music by engaging children to learn preschool basics through intriguing game play. Toddlers will start with easy tracing by collecting fireflies in a jar and will move gradually to tracing requiring more developed fine-motor skills.

The basic skills in this app are foundations for reading, writing and arithmetic operations. Appropriate hints are provided to support your children as they practice and build their skills.

MY THOUGHTS: Whenever my little one and I are in a long line up or waiting for the doctor/dentist, we sit together to check out the app. It keeps kids entertained and they learn from the activities. Great educational app for my little one to learn especially math. Little Brandon is a whiz in math now. I'm impressed how much he learned.

ABCs Alphabet Phonics & Montessori Learn to Read

Learning to write has never been more fun! With Montessori Worksheets for Kids Free your kids will not only learn to write letters, but will also develop good handwriting skills! The app turns the learning process into what kids love the most - a game!

MY THOUGHTS:  I like how the kids get rewarded for their performance: 3 stars for successful task accomplishment at first or second attempt, 2 stars if they had three or four attempts at tracing and writing, and one star if they had more than five tries. Little Brandon still needs to learn to write words either all in lowercase or all in uppercase. He's mixing it together most of the time.

Bingo ABCs Alphabet Phonics Song with Farm Animals Cards

Cute interactions, a catchy tune, and simple lyrics of this sing along music book will entertain you and your kids. With a single app you can sing and record your singing in a Karaoke session, play mini games with farm animals cards, make up and record your own stories!


MY THOUGHTS:  Another fun FREE app I've downloaded for my iPhone and iPad. Little Brandon plays with this one at home or whenever we visit his grandparents. He loves to sing and great way for him to learn lyrics and sing it out by memory.

Disclosure:I am receiving compensation in exchange of my review in this post. Any expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Beautiful Way to Support a Beautiful Place: Vancouver was the First Stop on the "Make a Kid Smile" Tour

Joining forces to bring smiles to the day, members of the Kidoodle.TV team met up with the team at Ronald McDonald House British Columbia and Yukon to present 80 Samsung Galaxy 3 tablets, 80 Kidoodle.TV subscriptions and a plethora of Hasbro toys to the new House!

The Crist Family Foundation, Kidoodle.TV and Hasbro, Inc. donated tablets, annual Kidoodle.TV subscriptions and a heap of toys to Ronald McDonald House British Columbia and Yukon!

CEO Richard Pass welcoming Kidoodle.TV’s Garry Bunkowsky

The new premises opened in July of 2014 and is able to accommodate up to 73 families at any given time, making it the 5th largest House in the world! Designed to be a home-away-from home for children requiring medical treatment at BC Children’s Hospital and their families, the House provides respite for families who are undergoing a significant amount of emotional and
financial stress.

Tablets donated by Tom Crist and his family through the Crist Family Foundation were loaded up with Kidoodle.TV subscriptions and will stay with each room for residents to use, with a few extras to float around the House. The children also received a toy of their choice, courtesy of Hasbro, much to their delight.

"The team was excited to welcome Garry Bunkowsky and Neil Gruninger from Kidoodle.TV, who kicked off the “Make a Kid Smile” campaign here at the House!" said Richard Pass, CEO of Ronald McDonald House British Columbia and Yukon. "On behalf of the volunteers, staff and the wonderful families we serve at RMH BC, I’d like to thank Garry and his team at Kidoodle.TV, to Hasbro, and to the Crist Family Foundation for this amazing and generous donation."

The trio of sponsors were pleased to have the opportunity to work with Ronald McDonald House to make the day just a little bit brighter for kids and families undergoing a difficult time. Mike Lowe, President, A Parent Media Co. Inc. (“APMC”) and founder of Kidoodle.TV said, "Ronald McDonald House and Kidoodle.TV are both safe places for children, and it is an honor to work with the Crist Family Foundation, Hasbro and the RMH team to bring smiles to these children and their families."

Recently making a multi-million dollar personal investment in Kidoodle.TV’s parent company, APMC, with his charitable foundation the intended beneficiary, Tom Crist and his family continue to work with Kidoodle.TV to find ways to reach out and better the lives of children and families. "To see what these kids and families go through is humbling and heart wrenching," said Crist. "We want to find ways to help."

Vancouver was the first stop of 12 on the Make a Kid Smile tour across Canada.

Follow along with hashtag #kidsmile and join in the national Ronald McDonald House Charities conversation with #forRMHC.

For more information on how you can get involved with and support Ronald McDonald House in British Columbia, visit

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Healthy Snacks for Kids: Baked Sweet Potato Chips

These are really easy to make. All you have to do is wash the sweet potatoes, slice them thinly, add oil, salt & pepper, and bake for about 15 minutes. The thinner the slices, the faster they will bake. These make great snacks for kids who like something crunchy. You can slice up any vegetables and make them into all-natural chips. For example, you can use carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, kale, spinach, etc.

For this recipe, we made Baked Sweet Potato Chips. Little Brandon loves helping me and wanted to learn how to make these.


4 medium sweet potatoes
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes.
  3. Slice the potatoes as thin as possible.
  4. Place the sweet potato slices into a medium sized bowl, and mix in the olive oil. Keep mixing until the slices are evenly coated.
  5. Spread out the sweet potato slices on a baking sheet and make sure non of them are overlapping each other.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the sides of the slice start to curl upwards and the surface of each chip is dry to the touch.

Little Brandon also helped with layering the lasagna we made that same evening. Here is the link to the Lasagna Recipe.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

ELPH Band & $125 Target Gift Card Giveaway


Welcome to the ELPH Band Giveaway Event!

Hosted by: Mom Powered Media
Sponsored by: ELPH Band

Mom Powered Media, ELPH Band, and fantastic group of amazing bloggers have come together to bring you this event, just in time for Halloween.

The ELPH Band is a link to your identifying information, such as your address, parent or guardian cell phone numbers and any other information you think is necessary, including medical conditions or drug allergies your child may have. Whether you're traveling to a theme park, zoo, park, a crowded festival or even the mall, the ELPH Band can help find your child in the event he/she gets separated from you. It only takes one second for a child to disappear out of your site.


The ELPH band is a non-toxic, durable, silicone wristband. It provides an immediate, highly visible form of identification with clear instructions directly on the band. It's easy to use with options to dial in or scan the QR code. ELPH Band does not put personal information, such as the child's name or phone number where people can see it when it isn't needed.

What does ELPH stand for? Easy Lookup to Phone Home

If your child get's separated from you, all your child needs to do is show an adult his/her ELPH band. That adult can then call the 800# or scan the QR code to get in touch with you to reunite your child with you! It's that simple!

Once the QR code is scanned on a smartphone, a screen similar to the one below will pop up for them to get in touch with you.


To set up your ELPH band you will register it on a computer, or by scanning the QR code yourself and setting it up via your smartphone. Just a few simple questions and you will be registered. Once completed, you will get a text and email alert letting you know the account profile is active, and to verify the information has been entered correctly.

ELPH Bands are available in 3 sizes: Toddler (up to 5.75 inches), Child (up to 6.5 inches), and Adult (up to 7.5 inches). They are also available in two colors, Navy or Pink.

WHERE TO BUY: ELPH Bands are $19.99 each and they come with 1 year of service. You can purchase here. After 1 year of service, you can renew your service with ELPH Band.

Connect with ELPH Band

PTPA- Elph


TWO (2) lucky winners will receive an ELPH band of their choice as well as a $125 Target Gift Card! Contest is open to US residents only, 18+ (Giveaway ends October 31st, 2014 at 11:59pm EST). All entries unless otherwise noted are optional.  Please enter the giveaway form below. Winners will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

{Please wait while entry form loads...}

Disclosure: I received no compensation nor products for this promotion. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of other consumers. "A Small Village Blog" received products from this sponsor to facilitate her review, no other compensation was received. All participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment.  This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. If you have any questions about this event or would like to see your event hosted by Mom Powered Media, please email

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

KIDOODLE.TV Celebrates Halloween With A "FUNTASTIC" Candy Alternative

A Parent Media Co. Inc. (APMC) is pleased to announce the launch of its Kidoodle.TV Halloween coupon campaign. The popular on demand video service for kids 12 and under is offering downloadable, printable coupon pages and promo codes perfect for sharing two months of free service (a $10 value) with Trick-or-Treaters, in Halloween treat bags, and more.

As issues of childhood obesity continue to be a worldwide problem, Kidoodle.TV is happy to provide parents, teachers, grandparents, and others with a fantastic candy alternative.
“APMC and Kidoodle.TV were created to bring joy to children everywhere in a safe and wholesome way,” said Mike Lowe, President, A Parent Media Co. Inc. and Founder, Kidoodle.TV. “Many parents are looking for healthier ways to celebrate Halloween, and we are thrilled to offer a Spooktacular treat kids can enjoy well beyond holiday.”

Built for kids and loved by parents, Kidoodle.TV is a mobile, fun and safe way to keep kids entertained. Featuring quality entertainment and educational programs from the likes of Hasbro, DHX, National Geographic and more, Kidoodle.TV contains no adult content and no commercials. In addition, the service offers robust parental controls and viewing time limits. Committed to a strong corporate social ethic for giving to those in need, APMC will donate $.50 for every Halloween promo code used between October 1 and November 30, 2014 to Ronald McDonald House Charities® Canada.

For more information and to download printable Halloween coupons, please visit or find KIDOODLE.TV on Facebook at

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

6 Halloween Savings Hacks Unmasked

Halloween is coming near and little one is already talking about costumes, pumpkins, and treats.

What once was a night for little kids to dress up and collect candy from neighbors has gravely become the second most-expensive holiday following Christmas. In fact, the National Retail Federation reports record-breaking spending estimates for costumes alone this Halloween. As more consumers than ever empty their wallets on elaborate costumes, posh parties and decked-out decor, celebrants face the scariest demon of all -- DEBT.

There's nothing wrong with getting into the spirit of the holiday. Just make sure you don't blow your money for this one-night event. Celebrate without overspending by following these six simple savings tricks for Halloween essentials.

1. Stalk the thrift shop.
From costumes to accessories to decor, your local thrift shop should be your first stop in your search of Halloween essentials. Since most people only wear their costumes once, you have a good chance at picking up like-new goods and last-years looks at a fraction of the price. Why spend $10 at a costume store for a basic accessory when you can find it at Goodwill for a few bucks? No one will know where you bought it from, anyway!

2. Dig up deals and coupons online.
With shopping for costumes and decor reaching its peak, you're less likely to find many sales at your local Halloween shops. Don't give up on saving, however, as you can easily dig up deals online and in department stores. First, search for Halloween coupons from sources like, where you can find such deals as 15-percent off Halloween costumes from Kohl's. Next, scout daily deals from sites like Groupon for half-off your purchase, like this $20 voucher for $40 worth of costumes and decor at Halloween Adventure.

3. Avoid pricing trickery.
Whether it's a costume for your kid or a bag of Halloween candy, it pays to compare prices. For example, an Elsa costume is priced at $39.99 from Spirit Halloween, while Party City has a similar style for $29.99 and Kohl's has one for $28.99 (on sale). Be sure to factor in any applicable coupons, too, and use apps like PriceGrabber to easily compare prices on-the-go. Treat Halloween candy with the same discerning eye; you can find weekly circulars online and compare prices for the best deals on the sweet stuff.

4. Hold off on your attack.
The best prices on Halloween items can be found on or after Nov. 1, but that doesn't do you much good if you need essentials for the upcoming holiday. Happily, many retailers start discounting their Halloween goods a week before Oct. 31, in an effort to clear inventory and get prepped for holiday goods. Expect sale prices starting at 20-percent off, with discounts deepening throughout the week.

5. Find freakish freebies.
One of the great things about Halloween is that perfection and cleanliness are not only unnecessary, they're discouraged. You can take a ripped pair of jeans and a threaded flannel shirt and make a fantastic scarecrow to decorate your yard. You can also download free templates for Halloween banners, labels, frameable art and more from creative bloggers around the Internet. Check out this roundup of free printables to get your started.

6. Shop the unknown.
Discount retailers and warehouse club stores are great places to find costumes, decor and even candy. Stores like TJMaxx and Marshalls have darling costumes for kids, often including all the necessary accessories for which costume stores charge extra. For example, this pirate costume costs under $20 and includes the head piece and boot covers. Club stores like Costco and Sam's Club, meanwhile, sell Halloween candy in bulk, saving consumers around 25-percent.

By Andrea Woroch

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc., who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @AndreaWoroch for daily savings advice and tips.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

$100 Toys R US Gift Card Giveaway


Welcome to the $100 Toys R US Gift Card Giveaway Event!

Hosted by Conservamom

The Holidays are almost here and it's time to start thinking about what you will get loved ones on your list. Sprinkles Media wants to make it easier for one person with the $100 Toys R US Gift Card Giveaway Sponsored by Sprinkles Magazine & Media.

This giveaway will allow one person the opportunity to win a $100 Toys R US Gift card to help with Holiday Shopping. In the meantime head over here and check out the October/November Issue of Sprinkles Magazine. A fun PArenting magazine with great ideas,fun and more!

oct nov cover sprinkles


One lucky winner will receive a $100 Toys R Us Gift Card. Contest is open to US Residents only, 18+ (Giveaway ends Nov. 4th, 2014 at 11:59pm EST). All entries unless otherwise noted are optional.  Please enter the giveaway form below. Winners will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

{Please wait while entry form loads...}

Disclosure: I received no compensation nor products for this promotion. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of other consumers.   This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to see your product featured in an Event you can contact Elia At Conservamom

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fun O'Clock: New Kids' Album from Parents' Choice Winner In The Nick of Time

They're back! In The Nick of Time, the Parents' Choice Award winning duo of Nick Deysher and Tracey Freitag, triumphantly returns to the forefront of the family music scene with the October 21, 2014 release of their fourth studio CD, Fun O'Clock.

Noted for eclectic recordings that celebrate the songs he loved growing up, Nick Deysher and In The Nick of Time draw on a lush expanse of influences. Fun O'Clock is not only a trip through the decades of more than 100 years of popular music but also a global peregrination that includes '80s hip-hop, ska/reggae, Celtic, and indie rock, alongside classic rock and roll, jazz, and country, with even a tip of the hat to the Renaissance.

Fun O'Clock's title track, in the mode of Pharell's "Happy," is an upbeat opener that segues effortlessly into the Motown groove of "Doin' A Little Dance." From there, the music keeps up a veritable tsunami of creativity, with the ska/reggae rhythms of "You've Only Got One Body" followed by a modern indie rock number à la Modest Mouse, The Killers, and Franz Ferdinand titled "Road Trip," and a "Stairway To Heaven" inspired Renaissance madrigal, "Hey Nonny No," which builds to a rocking finish line. And that's just the beginning!

Nick Deysher draws not only on music he's heard and loved through the years but also on his day-to-day interactions with children as a preschool classroom teacher. He explains, "Being a teacher, I always look for ways that my music can educate. Whether I'm discussing healthy living habits in 'You've Only Got One Body' or describing the life cycle of a butterfly in 'Flutter By Butterfly,' I try to focus on learning. Calling this album Fun O'Clock suggests that I was also trying to make this a fun ride, and there is certainly a lot of that! The title track is a good example. At its center, the song is about counting and telling time, but it goes through an upbeat and eclectic musical journey to get there."

Nick Deysher has released three previous In The Nick of Time albums, Coconut Groove (2007), the Parents' Choice Gold Award winning People, Places & Things (2009), and the Parents' Choice Silver Award winning Making Silly Faces (2011).

Visit In The Nick of Time on Facebook.

WHERE TO BUY: Fun O'Clock will be available online October 21st at,,, and iTunes.

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this promotion. I was given info and streaming links at no charge from the PR Firm / Company. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of other consumers.

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