Friday, April 18, 2014

EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm Picture Book Giveaway!

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Today's post and giveaway is sponsored by Candlewick Press!

I absolutely love EIEIO How Old MacDonald Got His Farm from Judy Sierra!  Matthew Myers does a wonderful job illustrating with colorful and expressive pictures - my little one is absolutely fascinated with them.   A truly inspired story of getting back to basics and real food - Old MacDonald, with the help from a brilliant hen, decides to grow food.  Real food, organic food instead of grass.  Bravo, Old MacDonald!  We need more people like Old MacDonald - more people growing real food without chemicals - farming the right way.  In my opinion, EIEIO How Old MacDonald Got His Farm is an instant classic and is my new go-to gift for kids.  Buy it or check it out at your local library, but don't miss this book!  

Once upon a time, Old MacDonald didn’t have a farm. He just had a yard -- a yard he didn’t want to mow. But under the direction of the wise (and ecologically sensitive) Little Red Hen, Mac learns to look at the environment in a very different way, and whole new worlds start to bloom with the help of some mud, garbage, horse poop, and worms! Judy Sierra’s spirited verse, paired with Matthew Myers’s exuberant illustrations, yields a fresh take on a children’s classic, complete with raised-bed gardens and an organic farmers’ market -- making this a perfect story for armchair gardeners and devoted locavores of all sizes.  - Candlewick

Neighbors protest to change - sound familiar? 

If you read little island studios often - you will know that this is my kind of book!  EIEIO How Old MacDonald Got His Farm With A Little Help From A Hen is absolutely perfect!


Candlewick Press is giving a hard cover copy away to celebrate Earth Day!  We are participating because food is more important than ever - organic, real food!   

If you cannot wait to have a copy of EIEIO How Old MacDonald Got His Farm, we don't blame you - Pick up a copy at Barnes and Noble or Amazon! (at a great price)  

Happy gardening lovelies and eat well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I received a review copy.  Opinions are my own. YES! Absolutely love this book and feel every kids (and mom) should have it or at the very least read it!  There are no affiliate links on this...just wanted to share!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Find Your Happy - The Ultimate Happy List! - Part 2

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A couple weeks ago I wrote about starting over, poverty and going through pretty awful times.  So, how do you find yourself again and your happiness after going through something like that?   Sometimes you have to focus on happy.  Purposefully create and inspire to find your happiness.  It is not gone - you just have to find it.  Here are my 5 Ways to Find Your Happy. (Part 1)  Check out some of these other great ideas - start with one and start working your way through them until you feel yourself coming out from beneath the cloud.  You know...the cloud of forgetting what exactly happy is.  Perhaps thinking you may never have it again?  Sometimes it doesn't just show up, you have to go out and get it! 

My Dean & DeLuca cafe mug, fair trade, organic coffee and fresh fruit - my morning happiness!


                                                      Where do you find your happy?



The Ultimate Get Happy List!

Hike
Camp
Go to the Ocean Side
Reading
Watch a Movie (that makes you smile)
Swing
Color
Paint
Swim
Run
Walk
Yoga
Make Your Little One Giggle
Read a Foodie Magazine & Learn Something New
Go to a National Park
Take a Road Trip Some Where New
Have a Picnic (even in your front lawn)
Plant a Garden (organic and non GMO, of course)
Grow basil on your Kitchen Window-Sill
Canoe
Row a Boat
Jump Up and Down on the Couch (if you fall off, not my fault)
Pray
Take a Surf Lesson
Kiss your spouse / partner
Read The Sweet Life in Paris (witty, fun and funny, inspiring & starting over)
Eat Organic Chocolate Ice Cream with Ceylon Cinnamon sprinkled on top
Paint your toes bright blue
Sign up for a Baking Class

Sing Loudly Whilst Watching Mamma Mia (preferably the songs Dancing Queen & Does Your Mother Know - it helps to jump on the bed, wearing a feather boa  & use your hair brush as a microphone - just saying)

Paint a room in your house a bright happy color (don't ask your partner's opinion on the color, just do it - it'll be fun!)

Read My Life In France by Julia Child (she did not find her passion until late 30s!)

Play Hungry Hungry Hippos

What makes you happy?


Follow little island studios on Instagram and find your happy!








Tuesday, April 15, 2014

5 Ways To Find Your Happy! #Happiness

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I wrote a little bit about starting over and going through tough times and I wanted to write about finding your happiness.  There was a period in my life where I actually didn't know what made me happy.  I know it sounds silly, but I really could not have told you what my favorite color was, let alone what made me happy.  I know finding happiness when you have lots of money and live some where really cool might be easier to "find your happiness" - but no matter where you are and what your current financial situation is -  you can find what makes you happy.  Try new things, read about different cultures, meet new people, run, walk - get inspired and find it!


Here are some things that make me the happiest - try one and see if you don't find your happiness.


Play!  Play outside every single chance you get - whether you are hiking, walking in your neighborhood or playing at the beach.  Be outside!  It relieves stress and the fresh air  and it is good for you.

Cooking and Baking - I found my absolute love of food through baking and cooking.  My idea of baking used to be stirring together the egg and the packaged Betty Crocker cake mix. *gasp*  I have a huge pet peeve now - if it involves a package, it is NOT baking!   Try new foods, combinations, recipes and then create your own - real food is absolutely glorious!    Have you seen the Disney movie Ratatouille? I completely and utterly relate to the rat, Remy!  (there is something I thought I would never say)  Eat Well.  If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff! Well said, Remy!

Exercise!  Every. Single. Day.  Yes, I know you are busy.  I am busy.  Maybe too busy?  I would much rather be talking to you on Twitter, playing with my kids or baking but, we must make time for ourselves and do things that make us feel good and promote health and well-being - our kids are watching - let us be good examples.


EAT and Eat Well! Eat real food.  Organic food.  This obviously goes with my baking and cooking tip from above.  But when was the last time you closed your eyes and reveled in the taste of your dinner?  Watch Eat, Pray and Love, I know exactly what the main character, Liz, was talking about...  Real food is absolutely amazing and should be eaten every day.  Real food, not from a package, not full of toxic pesticides,  not from a drive through, but real food - real food is the key to happiness, you know.

Laugh  - Every Single Day!  I laugh more now than I can ever remember, since maybe when I was a kid?  Watch funny movies, find the humor in things, hang out with awesome (non stressful) people and laugh!  Be silly, stand on your head blow bubbles - whatever you gotta do to laugh - and laugh out loud!  Often.

Find things that make you happy and do them often!  Hiking, camping, traveling, playing, cooking, baking, Social Media (you have no idea!) and sun make me happy
 - blissfully happy! 


Monday, April 14, 2014

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Around The Clubhouse World! #DisneyJunior

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Today's post is not sponsored.  

Our absolute favorite Disney Junior show is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the new Around The Clubhouse World coming to DVD looks the best yet - we cannot wait!

Pack your bags and grab your passport. Join Mickey, Minnie and pals on a whirlwind trip Around The Clubhouse World! Climb the Eiffel Tower in France and say “bonjour” to Mademoiselle Daisy and Monsieur Donald Duck. Then, rescue Gondolier Goofy when he goes adrift in Italy’s Grand Canal; solve the mysterious riddle of Pharaoh Pete’s pyramid in Egypt, and meet a dancing dragon at the Great Wall of China. With your help – and the right Mouseketools – your Clubhouse friends can get their special passport stamped at each wonderful location. Featuring over two hours of song-filled fun, including four additional episodes, this global adventure proves it’s a small world after all!


Full-Length Feature:               Around the Clubhouse World
Additional Episodes:                Donald And The Beanstalk
                                                  Goofy On Mars
                                                  Mickey’s Handy Helpers
                                                  Pluto’s Dinosaur Romp
DVD runs about 126 minutes.

Coming to DVD May 20th!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Best Buy & Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard Simplifies Home Entertainment! #HarmonySmartKeyboard #spon

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Today's post is sponsored by Best Buy! Good thing, too - I have WAY too many remotes!

I do not have cable of any kind and I still have more remotes than I know what to do with - Blu-Ray player, Roku, game remotes from two different gaming systems and I feel like I am forgetting one?!  The Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard solves that problem easily - with an app downloaded to your smartphone and an easy to use keyboard to control up to eight different devices and is compatible with over 225,000 devices!  I am thrilled to not have remotes all over the place (I can never find the one I need) and my kids are happy to have a keyboard to type out what they want, instead of typing one letter at the slow pace of a regular remote.  Or perhaps it is just me who can never seem to find the letters when using a regular TV remote.  So, perhaps I like the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard the most!
 The Harmony Smart Keyboard delivers the full Harmony control experience for TV-connected Internet and home entertainment devices.

 Harmony Smart Keyboard makes enjoying digital media in your living room easier than ever. The specially designed keyboard simplifies text entry on internet-connected entertainment  devices. Touch the “Movie” Activity button and the right devices switch  to the right settings. Plus, it has integrated DVR and set-top box controls, playback and volume buttons, and a touchpad  for cursor control on a PC or Mac.
·         3 one-touch activity button
o    PC, TV, Movies
o    Short and long presses provide 6 total activities
·         Integrate touchpad for cursor control on PC or Mac
·         Media/Cable/DVR playback controls
Harmony Hub controls devices behind cabinets or walls
o    IR, RF, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
o    Simple smartphone setup
Harmony App turns iOS & Android smartphones into personal universal remote
Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard and Harmony App shown (phone not included :)


What is included in the box:

  • Logitech Harmony Smart Wireless Keyboard
  • 2 USB nano receivers
  • USB extender, micro USB cord, power adapter
  • 2 AA batteries
  • Harmony hub, IR blaster
  • Owner's manual


To purchase your own Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard, head to Best Buy or BestBuy.com



This post is sponsored by Best Buy.  Opinions are my own.



Friday, April 11, 2014

Planes: Fire and Rescue Movie Trailer!

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Planes: Fire and Rescue is coming to theaters this summer and we are so excited!  Check out the trailer below!  Are you going to see it?  



PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE opens in theaters on July 18, 2014!





 

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” is a new comedy-adventure about second chances, featuring a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty (voice of Dane Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous team, including spirited super scooper Dipper (voice of Julie Bowen), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. Directed by Bobs Gannaway (“Secret of the Wings”), “Planes: Fire & Rescue” hits theaters in 3D on July 18, 2014.




Like PLANES on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPlanes
Follow PLANES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures

Thanks to Disney for the info, trailer and images.  Not sponsored.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sofia the First: The Floating Palace Printables & DVD Trailer! #DisneyJunior

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Today's post is sponsored by Disney Junior!

Disney Junior's SOFIA THE FIRST: THE FLOATING PALACE is out on DVD and we have fun activity sheets and printables for your littles!  Enjoy!

  Click Communications: BLOGGER BUTTONS &emdash;

The Floating Palace is out on DVD - Print out some fun activity sheets and play along!

.

We love this trailer from The Floating Palace!



This is a sponsored post.  Opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Southern Spiced Carrot Cake!

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It's springtime and almost Easter and it has me thinking about carrots!  Carrot Cake to be specific.  Carrot Cake is one of those absolutely amazing desserts where I can have with my coffee in the morning and not feel bad about it!  (after my lemon water, of course, I'm not a neanderthal ;)  There is about a million recipes for carrot cake - this is a combination of all my favorite carrot cake ingredients in one cake, low sugar and the healthiest I have been able to come up with yet.   What are your favorite ingredients?   If you are thinking just carrots and spice - you are missing out!  Try this healthy recipe, so many goodies it is the perfect spring treat!

Start with organic carrots!  You get extra points if you can get yours from your local organic farm!   Yay you!


Don't you just love orange?!  Color and delicious ingredients makes me happy!

Ingredients:

2 cups Sprouted Spelt Flour
2 Teas. Baking Powder
3 Teas. Ceylon Cinnamon
2 Teas. Nutmeg
1 Teas. Ginger

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teas Vanilla
1 cup apple sauce ( one ingredients - apples only)
1/2 coconut oil

1 cup fresh pineapple (chopped)
1 cup pecans chopped (walnuts are wonderful, as well)
1 cup chopped dried apricots - unsulphured
2 cups chopped carrots  (I blend mine in my Blendtec until well chopped!)
1 cup shredded coconut - unsulphured   (wizz in a high speed blender, if flakes are too big)

Cooking in the kitchen helps kids learn about food!

Before you start chop and measure all of your fruits, nuts and carrots - this makes it super easy to put together.

Once all of your ingredients are prepared and measured.  Start with all of your wet ingredients - brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and apple sauce - mix in mixer bowl.
Add in all of your dry ingredients - Spelt flour, baking powder, Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

While mixer is on low start adding in your pineapple, pecans (or walnuts), apricots, coconut and carrots - mix until well blended.

Add into cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees.

Color makes me happy whilst baking!

Ready to go in the oven!  I use If You Care non-bleached cupcake liners.

Carrot Cake and fresh fruit for breakfast? Yes! No need to wait until dessert time.


Icing:

8 oz cream cheese
1 teas Ceylon Cinnamon
 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (add more, depending on how sugary you like it)

Mix well and sprinkle extra cinnamon on top!  

Enjoy and Happy Spring to you! 


My Notes:

I am a busy mom (is there any other?) meaning - I have kids that eat things as fast as I can make them and have a million things going on at any given moment.  I know you are so surprised, but I don't have an expensive camera and a food photo stylist, so my pictures are pretty real.  I focus on real food and the recipe more than the picture.   

I use everything I can organic and non GMO.

Apricots, Coconut and Applesauce should all have only one ingredient and not unsulphured  or anything else done to it.

I use fresh pineapple - it's incredible and super easy to use for carrot cake and left-over pineapple for tacos and snacks.  I have this gadget to make it super duper easy - works awesome!

Brands I buy - One Degree Sprouted Spelt Flour  ( I am currently obsessed with sprouted spelt flours...awesome)
I buy Dole Pineapples 
Coconut Oil - unrefined, organic and fair trade
Eggs and dairy are especially important to buy non GMO.

For baking adventures, please join in the fun on Instagram!


This is not a sponsored recipe / post.




Monday, April 7, 2014

Peppa Pig and the Vegetable Garden Giveaway!

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Today's post and giveaway is sponsored by Candlewick Press! Yay!


If you follow Little Island Studios on Instagram you may remember we are new to Peppa Pig.  My little one absolutely loves Peppa Pig after reading Peppa Pig and the Vegetable Garden.   We had never seen the TV series (I actually didn't know there was a series).  Peppa Pig and her little brother, George, help their grandpa plant seeds in the garden.  While they are waiting for seeds to grow they pick apples, pick berries, have fun, imitate and learn about bugs in the garden.  Peppa Pig and The Vegetable Garden is absolutely delightful and makes the perfect spring and Earth Day book for kids!

The back of the cover is a huge color sheet!

The apple falling on Grandpa's head makes little one laugh - every time!

We are giving away a copy of Peppa Pig and the Vegetable Garden picture book! (hardcover) - Prize is shipped from publisher and open to US.  
If you can't wait - pick up Peppa Pig and the Vegetable Garden at Barnes and Noble or Amazon!



We now, have watched and own Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles and absolutely looove it!  Did you know Peppa Pig is British?  So lovely!

I am happily working with Candlewick Press bring amazing picture books to moms and their littles!  Opinions are my own.  No affiliate links on this post.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Pip And Posy: The Bedtime Frog Picture Book Giveaway!

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Today's post and giveaway is sponsored by Nosy Crow and Candlewick Press!

Oh, you are in for a treat - we read Pip and Posy:  The Bedtime Frog by Axel Scheffler and absolutely fell in love with Pip and Posy.  Little one wanted it read again and again and it has been in our bedtime stack for weeks!  After I read the first one, I jumped online to see when the next one was coming out and to my pleasant surprise - there are already more Pip and Posy books!  Where have I been?  Do you know about Pip and Posy?  We now have The Snowy Day and The Super Scooter!  The ones we do not have - The Big Balloon, The Little Puddle and The Scary Monster are in my Amazon cart waiting.  Axel  Scheffler is the illustrator of The Gruffalo and is the author and illustrator of the Pip and Posy books.  The story is engaging and sweet and the artwork is colorful, fun, creative and absolutely delightful!


Pip and Posy:  The Bedtime Frog is one of little one's most favorite bedtime stories!


We just love Pip and Posy's neighborhood!


Our Pip and Posy Collection...so far :)


We are so very happy to giveaway a copy of (hardcover) Pip and Posy:  The Bedtime Frog!


If you can't wait ( I don't blame you) check out Pip and Posy on Amazon or in a Barnes and Noble near you.  

Happy Reading!



This giveaway is US only (huge apologies Canadians).  Prize is shipped by publisher.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


I am working with Candlewick Press to find fabulous books that moms may like for their littles!  Opinions are my own.  I could not be happier with Candlewick Press and Nosy Crow books - quality, story, creativity - everything!