Friday, December 2, 2016

12/2/16: WowWee Mini MiPosaur

Next up in my Holiday Gift Guide is a fun little inexpensive gift from WowWee called the Mini MiPosaur.  It is a small little remote controlled dinosaur.
Here is the Mini Dinosaur.
The remote control has two buttons.  One to make the dinosaur go forward and one to spin around.  It seemed to respond pretty well to the remote control.
The kids had fun watching our new puppy chase it around.  She was quite amused with the toy.
It did work on our rug however it worked much better on the hard wood floor.
Here it is as packaged.  It retails for $19.99.  Check out all of WowWee's Toys here:  http://wowwee.com/
Disclosure:  I was provided with this product for review purposes.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

12/2/16: Win 4 Tickets to Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream

I have loved going to Disney On Ice since I was a kid and I am so excited to take my children now.  Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream is coming to the Agganis Arena in Boston this holiday season.  This would be a wonderful holiday gift!  As my lucky readers I am giving you a chance to win 4 tickets to the show on Opening Night Friday, December 23rd!
The show is playing Friday December 23rd - Sunday January 1st at th Agganis Arena.
More about the show:
Experience Disney’s hilarious hair-raising escapade, Tangled; as Rapunzel, her unlikely companion, Flynn, and Maximus, embark on an uproarious journey that takes adventure to new lengths! 
Boogie to the beat of the bayou with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen in a magical, musical journey that all begins with a fateful kiss. 
And fanciful dreams become reality as Cinderella meets her Prince Charming, with a glass slipper fit for an unforgettable fantasy come true. 
Travel to the enchanted forest with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as she escapes from the Evil Queen.
All your favorite princesses take to the ice in a spectacular finale at the ultimate Disney Princess event of a lifetime! Experience the beauty, sparkle, and spirit when Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream comes to your hometown!
You can also find Disney on Ice on Facebook
You can check out a preview of the show: 
  
Enter below to win 4 tickets to opening night at the Agganis Arena in Boston, MA.
Disclosure: I am an FEI Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment, Inc. or one of its affiliates has provided me with complimentary tickets to its shows and opportunities to attend its private pre-show events.  As always all opinions are my own.  Neither the Walt Disney Company nor Feld Entertainment, Inc., nor any of their respective affiliates or related companies, is a sponsor, endorser, or administrator of this ticket giveaway.
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Saturday, November 26, 2016

11/26/16: Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker A Wonderful Holiday Tradition

The day after Thanksgiving for me is the true kick off to the holiday season.  This year we kicked off the season by heading to dress rehearsal for the Boston Ballet's presentation of Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker at the Boston Opera House.  It was so exciting for my little dancer and her friend to experience the show up close and meet some of the performers.  The show runs until December 31st so make sure to get your tickets now.
The kids couldn't wait for the show!
The show is so breathtaking.  I enjoyed watching the technique of the dancers including their beautiful turns.  I could not take pictures during the show however The Boston Ballet did share some press images with me.
Show Photos Provided by the Boston Ballet
We even got to meet the Mouse King at intermission.  The kids were so excited to meet some of these wonderful dancers.  The costumes some of the characters need to dance in must be such a challenge.
I love the falling snow and the ability of these two was amazing!  Their leaps and turns were fantastic.  Their technique and stage presence was wonderful.
The kids got to meet them also.
Here is one of my favorite scenes.  With the snow falling and the beautiful dancing it gives me chills every time I see it.
 The show has a full company of 57 dancers 13 Boston Ballet II dancers along with more than 224 Boston Ballet School students.  
This is the 5th year of Mikko Nissinen’s re-envisioned The Nutcracker.  It is based on the libretto by Alexandre Dumas père titled The Tale of the Nutcracker, which is adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.”  There are so many amazing dances in the show.  These are some of my favorites.
 
This is always one of my favorites as I danced many times to "Waltz of the Flowers" and my daughter danced to it last year in her recital.
The show is about 2 hours long and does have an intermission.  The time flew and both of the girls were amazed the show was as long as it was as it went by so quickly for them.  I have been taking my kids for many years and they love it.
There are 43 performances of The Nutcracker at the Boston Opera House (539 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111)!
Tickets start at $35.
Visit http://www.bostonballet.org/nutcracker/
I highly suggest taking the family to see it and starting a family tradition or continuing one if you already have been.

Follow Boston Ballet on Twitter:  @BostonBallet  #BBNutcracker
Like them on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/bostonballet
Disclosure:  I was provided with tickets for dress rehearsal for review purposes.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

11/23/16: STEM Toys from Uncle Milton

I love toys that allow kids to learn at the same time and Uncle Milton does an awesome job with this!  We got to check out the new Virtual Explorer Space Expedition and the Star Wars Science Force Spinners Magnetic Lab with BB-8 and Evan had a blast playing with them.
I was especially impressed with the Virtual Explorer Space Expedition.  Being a space enthusiast and someone with an Aerospace Engineering degree I couldn't wait to see what this had to offer.  The coolest thing is that it allows you to explore the solar system via virtual reality technology!  The star planetarium projects hundreds of stars on the wall.
There is a dial that you can use to set it to a specific date.  There is an explorer activity guide that helps you learn about constellations, space expeditions and the solar system.
The Virtual Reality goggles open up for you to put your smart phone in to.  You then download a free app to start exploring.  The cool thing is that when I looked through I saw that the technology was Powered by Vuforia.  My company PTC which I have worked at for 18 years acquired Vuforia so this is our technology powering this toy.
There are Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality cards that unlock adventures.
Here it is as packaged.  It retails for $49.99.  They also have a Prehistoric Safari and Antopia Adventure.  You can see those here.
We also received the Star Wars Science Force Spinners Magnetic Lab with BB-8.  Evan loved the Star Wars The Force Awakens movie and thought BB-8 was cool so I knew he would like this.  You put the rip cord in to allow it to spin.
Us the force to push BB-8 with the magnetic force controller.  Use the speed rail for tricks.  Kids get to learn about magnets, friction and physics.
Even Shellie had fun playing with it.
Here it is as packaged.  It retails for $19.99.
Check out Uncle Milton Online:

Disclosure:  I was provided with these products for review purposes.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

11/23/16: Lola the Therapy Dog Book Series

Reading is so important for kids so this is why the next cool gift in my Holiday Gift Guide is a book series about Lola the Therapy Dog written by Marcia Goldman who is her owner.  Our new puppy Shellie the Sheltie decided to check out the books too with real pictures of Lola.
These books are adorable talking about visits to the doctor, going to work, first day of school and being a tattletale.  Lola is a little Yorkie.  I had a little Yorkie named Rocky when I was growing up.  They are great little dogs but not usually therapy dogs but Lola overcame the odds and became one.
How cute is she?
Lauren read to Shellie about going to the doctor.  Even Shellie was really interested in the cute pictures of Lola.  Lauren loved reading the books and thought Lola was adorable.
This is a such a wonderful book series because it teaches kids how to overcome their fears.  Children will identify with the feisty Lola as she struggles going to school, passing tests, and finally achieving her Big Dog dream.  If Lola can make it in a world of Great Danes and Labradors, so can anybody who's feeling like a runt.  The book shows children how through hard work and determination, anyone can achieve their goals.
You can purchase the books on Amazon.  What a great gift for your budding reader.  They are easy to read for young children and would be perfect for Kindergartners to Second Graders.
Disclosure:  I was provided with the set of four Lola books and small stuffed animal.  No other compensation was received and as always all opinions are my own.

Monday, November 21, 2016

11/21/16: Cirque Dreams Holidaze in Boston

I love the holidays and I love going to holiday shows with the family!  Cirque Dreams Holidaze is coming to the Boch Center Shubert Theatre in Boston from December 9th to the 11th and I can't wait to see it.  THIS IS A SHOW NOT TO BE MISSED!  It is not only a cirque show, but it is also a Broadway musical, holiday spectaculalar, and family show all in one!
This show looks fantastic with 30 performers from 12 countries with 20 acts!  
More information about the show:
Steve Litman Presents, and Larry Magid Entertainment bring this show to life.  From the creators of the groundbreaking Broadway hit Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, Cirque Dreams Holidaze is “so full of energy it could end our dependence on oil” according to the New York Daily News and “a delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleigh load.”  The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle raves, “even the Grinch would be impressed with this Christmas wonderland.”  “Stuffed with so much holiday cheer and audacious acts, Scrooge would exit with a big ol' smile on his face,” hails the Erie Times News about this “Broadway-worthy spectacle.”  “The perfect way to come in from the cold, forget the holiday stresses and find the magic of the season” proclaims The Oakland Press. Don't miss this international sensation that “Dazzled…at The Kennedy Center” according to the Washington Post. 
The show is an endless variety of imaginative, heart-pounding and gravity- defying feats you have to see to believe.  Experience gingerbread men flipping midair, toy soldiers marching on thin wires along with snowmen, icemen and penguins, balancing, jumping and spinning in disbelief.  The show celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with singers, choreography and exciting production numbers.  Performers and costumed ornament characters twirl, bounce and soar thru the air to original music and seasonal favorites brought to life within a stage setting of gigantic gifts, colossal candy canes and 30-foot towering trees and soldiers creating a larger than life wonderland of amazement. 
Tickets are available for Cirque Dreams Holidaze at the Boch Center Box Office, Bochcenter.org, or by calling (866) 348-9738.
There are shows on the following days and times:
Friday, December 9, 2016 at 8:00PM 
Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 11:00AM, 3:00PM and 7:30PM 
Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 11:00AM and 3:00PM 
Here is a quick preview of the show:

Disclosure:  I was provided with four tickets for my family to attend Cirque Dreams Holidaze.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.