Tumble Leaf – Amazon’s First Original Kids Series

The end of the school year is quickly approaching and we’re looking forward to a bit of summer camp and completely free days.  I always find myself idealizing the unscheduled weeks ahead – but realistically need ways for the kids to unwind and take breaks from being on top of each other.  TV can help – but it’s a struggle to steer away from the garbage because there is a ton of it out there.  Our friends, The Moms, recently introduced us to the new Amazon original series, Tumble Leaf, designed to present science through play in captivating ways to the preschool set.

tumble leaf amazon studios

We had such a  fun family day at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in Lincoln Center previewing the series.  The children took to the whimsical characters, especially cheerful Fig, the curious blue fox, who leads his woodland friends on science filled adventures.  I found Tumble Leaf to be playful and educational and appreciate the encouragement of creative thinking.

lincoln center

Preview the animated series here!

Special thanks to The Moms for the fun event and Amazon Fire TV.  Opinions, as always, are my own.

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A Family Getaway to Woodloch Pines Resort With Evenflo

The perfect antidote to a jam packed family schedule is a weekend away to spend valuable time together and return home with a sense of reconnection.  A jaunt to Woodloch Pines Resort in the Poconos Mountains with the Moms and Evenflo turned out to be the sort of memorable respite that my family needed.

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There is something about being in the heart of nature on a picturesque lake that immediately made us all exhale – even in the rain.

Upon arrival, it took significant coaxing to get the kids to actually leave the room.  They were pretty thrilled with their new accommodations complete with two bathrooms and a lake-view balcony.

woodlochwoodloch resortWoodloch Pines Resort

The true charm in this all inclusive resort is definitely found in its family-focused atmosphere.  Along with friends – we took the kids on non-stopped activities including indoor kiddie vehicle rides, bumper cars, a play forest and an indoor-pool with a sprawling splash zone safely designed for little water lovers.  Those seeking a different pace can indulge in the nearby spa, workout room, and rejuvenating amenities.

woodloch pines resort splash zone woodloch for families

I even had a chance to meet my beloved Miss Piggy, at an 80’s themed dinner complete with an interesting array of characters.  I loved that she presented in her full-on 80’s glory –  and imagine that modernized costumes would have taken away from the true time-trip back to my early childhood.  With set family meal times – it was lovely to connect with fellow blogging friends and their sweet families.  And the Woodloch staff quickly accommodated for a larger family table to dine with friends.   As usual, the kids went bonkers for characters including a teenage mutant Ninja Turtle and Ariel.

miss piggy at woodloch

Our biggest little-traveler, Lucia, tested out the new Evenflo Platimum Protection Series Symphony DLX All-in-One Car Seat courtesy of Evenflo.  She’s often an ideal tester for these sorts of things because if she doesn’t like something we will all be made aware (swiftly and loudly!).  Although I stay on top of car seat safety standards, I immediately called Evenflo to speak to a product specialist.  I received exceptional personal customer service and installed the seat with my husband.  Although I don’t have a car of my own – it’s important for me to learn how to install my children’s seats properly.  At just 35 pounds, my six-year-old fits the frame of a much younger child and I believe that it will be quite some time until she meets the requirements to transition into booster mode.  Lucia loved her new chair (complete with cup-holders) and styled herself accordingly for her weekend getaway:

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In addition to meetings my daughter’s rigorous comfort factor – I’m most interested in the car seats safety features.  Evenflo’s Platinum Protection series is designed with e3Side Impact Protection to significantly reduce the forces in side impact crashes through advanced energy absorption and an expanded zone-of-protection.  I’m pleased with the numerous safety features which far exceed federal crash test standards.  I like how the versatile design can accommodate baby from birth through harnessed booster mode (5-110 pounds!)  In addition, the seat boasts many specialty features including buckle pockets to tuck buckles away from getting hot and innovative temperature regulating fabric.  I can’t wait to see how the fabric performs during the hotter months.

Evenflo Platinum Protection Series Car Seats are newly available at Babies R Us and select stores nationwide. To learn more about Woodloch Pines Resorts visit www.woodloch.com and to learn more about the Moms visit www.themoms.com.

Special thanks to The Moms, Woodloch Pines Resort and Evenflo for an incredibly memorable weekend.  All accommodations and car seat were provided. Opinions, as always, are strictly my own.

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Disney Frozen Movie Preview & Queen Elsa Costume Tutorial

A recent  invitation from The Moms to preview the movie Frozen (Disney’s newest animated film) was highly anticipated by both Lucia and Adrian. Thanks to The Moms, my kids have had incredibly memorable movie experiences (I mean, Adrian’s first movie involved meeting Pit Bull!).  I imaged that we would be in for another treat with a special movie day, and Q & A with the lovely Idina Menzel.

Disney Frozen Movie Elsa CostumeImage via Disney

Frozen tells the story of two sibling princesses in the Scandinavian province of Arendelle – little Anna and her older sister Elsa.  After an early childhood incident, Elsa struggles with being ordered to suppress her emotions to conceal her ice evoking powers.  Anna eventually embarks on a journey to find Elsa and help reverse Arendelle’s eternal winter.  The story unfolds in the most visually stunning way, with spectacular animation and memorable tunes.  Brava to Disney for stepping away from the typical princess love story trajectory – as the true love among sisters ultimately saves the day.

The kiddos enjoyed the movie and I believe that all attendees were smitten with Idina Menzel’s powerful presence. Lucia asked Idina “what super power she would want?”, to which she responded: “a super power to make sick kids better!”.  The Q & A culminated with an acapella singing of  Let it Go per the request of a young attendee.  It was beyond amazing!

Lucia naturally donned full princess attire to the movie premiere and left with a new found princess obsession (and adoration for Idina Menzel).  I thought that a bit of secret sewing for an upcoming secret vacation (and 6th bday!) was in order and decided to recreate Queen Elsa’s costume.

Here’s a simple tutorial:

I purchased all of the material at Jo-ann Fabric and highly recommend princess-dress-making shortly after Halloween (costume material is marked down substantially).  I began with a white leotard and cut off the bottom.  I made a skirt out of poly-satin and attached it to the cut-up leotard (for a good visual on how to do this visit my friends at Hungie Gungie).  I then intended to use a pressing cloth and seam-a-steam to set a fancy-smancy sequined bodice in place. That didn’t work, so I had to manually lift up the sequences piece by piece to sew the bodice into place.  I only stitched around the top of the sequence material as the weight of the material hangs flat very nicely.  I cut small holes in a  vertical lines through both back sides of the sequined material (that wraps around the back) to create a ribbon corset to tie into place.  I then hemmed and gathered sheer snowflake material to create a cape that I secured above the bodice underneath the arms.  I secured a few jewels to the leotard with a stone setter and added a sparkley button to complete the look.

Disney Frozen Handmade Queen Elsa CostumeDisney Frozen Queen Elsa Costume TutorialDisney Frozen Queen Elsa Handmade

I can’t wait to surprise Lucia with a bit of homemade love – possibly when we enter Walt Disney World!

UPDATE: View more dress photos in my Walt Disney World post.

Thank you to The Moms for providing tickets to the Frozen Movie premiere event. All opinions and Queen Elsa costume tutorial are my own.

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Playdate Premiere Party

Every now and then, I have the chance to take my children to events that completely make their heads spin. Thanks to The Moms, I recently took Lucia to attend the Hub TV Network’s “Playdate Premiere Party” to view the season premiere of the animated series “My Little Pony Friendship is Magic” and “Littlest Pet Shop”.  Lucia was smitten from the moment we entered the Gramercy Theater, walked the “purple carpet” and had our paparazzi style photos snapped.  The theater was thoroughly transformed into a purpleized pony/pet shop paradise, adorned with My Little Pony wall projections, jumbo pony and pet shop standups,  face-painters, balloon makers, and tasty treats galore.

I was thrilled to learn that children from the storm-affected communities of Breezy Point, Coney Island and Belle Harbor were brought to the event by the New York City Department of Education. The Hub TV Network also made a donation to the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army to assist families impacted by the devastating hurricane.
Time Out NY Kids (an additional sponsor) was also present to snap fun photos of the little attendees. 
Photo via Time Out New York Kids
The host, actress Melissa Joan Hart, was so down to earth (don’t we look like old friends here?) and her entire family was in attendance, including her newest addition – who still has that adorable fetal curl.  
An enormous coloring book was collectively colored by the children at the event – my own kiddo greatly enjoyed this activity. 
The colossal coloring book achieved a Guinness World Records(R) Title Achievement for the largest coloring book (at six feet and seven inches tall and five feet wide), and Melissa Joan Hart accepted the award on behalf of the Hub.  
Lucia was lucky enough to score a prime viewing bean bag to lounge on during the shows.  Clearly she made herself comfortable.
While I thought that my daughter was a bit young for Pet Shop, Lucia loved young Blythe’s ability to communicate with the cute animals, and was pretty much obsessed with all aspects of My Little Pony and the fantastic gift bag she received.  As a My Little Pony lover in the 80’s, it is fun to see the spillover into my own daughters heart. 
Thank you to The Moms, for a funfilled experience with my daughter!
I was not compensated for the post, my daughter received a gift bag.  All opinions are my own.
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