Tonight is one of my most favorite nights for holiday tv: it’s the annual Rockefeller Tree Lighting on NBC! This year, is a little different since we’re not even in the NYC are at the moment, but it’s sure to be just as amazing!
As in years past, this tree lighting will be ushered in by a host of fabulous celebs and one of my favorites, Zachary Levi of Chuck will be hosting alongside of Jane Krakowski of 30 Rock Fame.
The tree lighting celebration will feature Michael Buble, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, The Roots, Shakira, and The Radio City Rockettes performing a mix of some festive tunes. I heard some rumblings that the Electric Mayhem (as in The Muppets!) will perform along with Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, and Pepe the King Prawn tonight as well!
Aside from the Tree Lighting Celebration on NBC, be sure to catch day 2 of ABC Family’s annual “25 Days of Christmas.” The ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas will features a great lineup of holiday family movies, with the Pixar Shorts as the highlight for me.
Starting at 7:00 p.m. tonight as part of the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family, Disney will present 20 “Pixar Short Films.” The lineup of shorts will include: “Presto,” “Lifted,” “Jack-Jack Attack,” “BURN-E,” “Unidentified Flying Mater,” “Adventures of Andre and Wally B.,” “Boundin,” “For the Birds,” “Geri’s Game,” “Knick Knack,” “Luxo Jr.,” “Mater and the Ghostlight,” “Mike’s New Car,” “One Man Band,” “Red’s Dream,” “Tin Toy,” “Your Friend the Rat,” “Rescue Squad Mater,” “Mater the Greater” and “El-Materdor.”
Jack Jack Attack and Boundin’ are our family’s absolute favorites!
The Tree Lighting Ceremony AND Two fun hours of Pixar awesomeness! Holiday programming just doesn’t get any better than tonight!
I hope everyone had a fun and festive Thanksgiving! And if you hit the sales on Friday, I hope you found some fantastic deals and made it home unscathed. My girlfriend and I are still reeling from the lack of sleep on Thursday night/Friday morning since we hit Toys R Us at midnight and pretty much kept going until 11am!
But for those of you who have saved your money (and sanity) for Cyber Monday, there are lots of great deals! Most of these last until midnight, so be sure to check them out! I’ll be sure to post more as I see them!
Here’s my quick roundup of Cyber Monday deals:
Amazon video game deals For the teen and tween set, undoubtedly, a few video games will make it to their gift list! Need some ideas, or better yet, some great deals? Be sure to head to Amazon today for some great Cyber Monday deals!
LeapFrog has a great lineup of Cyber Monday deals today, with select Tag Books and Leapster games as low as $5! I picked up a Leapster for my kid at the TRU Black Friday sale, so I will more than likely pick up a few more Leapster games for to add to the collection. We’re huge LeapFrog fans!
· 25% to 75% off sitewide
· Select Leapster games as low as $5
· Select Tag Books as low as $5
· Up to 75% off on our gift packs
· Spend $50, get free shipping
One of my personal favorite distributors is having some great Cyber Monday deals that start at noon and end at 9pm EST, including 30% off Anka High Chairs and 40% off Svan Scooters! Be sure to go here for their complete list of Cyber Monday Deals.
I cleaned up at Target on Black Friday, but it looks like they have a number of really great deals today, with the $500 off a Philips 47? 1080p 120Hz LCD TV catching my eye. You can check out their Cyber Monday deals here. Here’s a great coupon for $7 off of $70 plus free shipping.
I’m a bit late on sharing this great info., but Stride Rite is having a ton of fan-only Cyber Monday giveaways…including a mystery grand prize worth $600 and more giveaways every hour! Make sure you become a fan to score some great deals on their shoes, which includes great lines such as Robeez, Saucony, Keds and much more!
Online only & today only! Free shipping on any order & save 20% off. New line online now & in most stores 12/2. http://www.gymboree.com
While we all have turkey and stuffing on the brain, I guess it’d be a good time as any to let you know what our friends over at Nickelodeon have planned. Dubbed Superstuffed Nicksgiving Weekend, Nick has a great lineup of shows this weekend including new episodes, marathons, and movies.
As I’m finalizing my holiday gift guides much later than I hoped, I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude. With Thanksgiving just a few days away and all, I have so much to be thankful for—our health and happiness at the top of my list.
We make it a habit to start AND end our days with books. Like many of you, books will always play a huge role in our family life, but unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone.
Did you know that over 80 percent of childcare centers serving low-income children lack age-appropriate books? And a recent study shows that the ratio of books per child in middle income neighborhoods is 13 to 1, while in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children.
Last week, I had the privilege of being invited to the annual Blogger’s Brunch here in NYC, where a number of influential bloggers networked and interacted with various companies and marketers. One of the organizations present at the brunch was Goddard Schools, a school that I know a few of my friends and family have turned to in the past.
Goddard Schools had a lot of great information to share with us bloggers, but one piece of information that was especially helpful for NKT was their 10 Eco-Friendly Toys Under $30. Together with Eco-Child’s Play, Goddard Schools unveiled a really great list of eco-friendly AND budget friendly toys.
Things have been hectic around here lately. Besides my packed schedule of events, I’ve been working on my Holiday Gift Guide (WITH giveaways!) that will be revealed next week. In the meantime, I thought I’d post a quick gift idea.
Via Blogspark, Crayola sent us the 150-count Telescoping Crayon Tower to test out and review. At first I was reluctant about opening up this package because my guy is notorious for destroying anything that comes in large quantities. But surprise, he proved me wrong!
Because of the cool telescoping feature, my toddler was amazed at how the tiers could collapse. It’s easy to turn and reveal the tiers and just as easy to collapse to put them away. This set, which is a nice departure from the yellow and green cardboard box that seems to break down so quickly, includes a crayon sharpener on the top tier. The $15 set also includes 118 regular crayons, 16 metallic FX crayons and 16 glitter crayons making the largest set of Crayola crayon colors ever.
I love the easy storage and assortment of crayons. And better yet, I love how this set includes a code for printing accessibility for the Lights, Camera and Color online application—what a fun bonus! Thanks to the novelty of the telescoping feature, we’ve yet to lose or break any crayons, which is quite an achievement! This set would make a perfect gift, and is suitable for preschoolers and older.
Crayola and Blogspark is offering one reader a Crayola 150-count Telescoping Crayon Tower!
To enter, just tell me your favorite Crayola Crayon color! Feel free to enter multiple times by sharing your favorite colors and/or by sharing on any social networking site!
In case you haven’t heard, Sesame Street celebrated its 40th birthday yesterday! NYC proclaimed November 10 Sesame Street day, not only that, but they added Sesame Street to the NYC map (temporarily) were all over the news, and all over this blog too!
It’s hard not to notice just how much this children’s tv show is loved, what with the media frenzy all day and week. But one of my favorite ways that the world celebrated Sesame Street was with the various characters gracing the homepage of Google over the past week!
October 20 was a sunny day for me. In fact, the clouds—yeah—-they were swept away, too.
Oh yeah, I found the way to Sesame Street.
By way of a shuttle bus, along with several other NYC parent and family-oriented bloggers, I had the unique opportunity to visit Kaufman Astoria studios, home to one of the most beloved streets in history. After we made our way over the Queensboro Bridge, we found ourselves in Astoria, Queens, which is where the studio is located. The white exterior of the studio was a definite contrast to the color and character that resides inside.
In the room where we gathered, we were greeted by some vintage Sesame Street photos, along with a few plush versions of our favorite muppets. But in addition to the familiar pictoral renderings of Sesame Street’s past, there was a blown up screenshot of a new CGI segment that features the cutest fairy in training, Abby Cadabby, as well as a few promotional posters. But it was the exclusive behind the scenes tour of THE Street that made my heart skip a beat.
Sesame Street which celebrates its 40th anniversary this month, quite simply, is an institution. The characters, storylines, songs, special guests—they’ve all moved us for generations (figuratively and literally!)
Considering they don’t offer tours to the public, to receive an invitation to see Sesame Street in action can definitely be grouped in my “awesome” life experiences.
What goes on behind the scenes at Sesame Street transcends the word, “amazing!”
To gather a group of people that talented and passionate, it’s really no wonder why the show has been around for FORTY YEARS.
The upcoming season, which premiers on PBS on November 10, will feature guest appearances by Cameron Diaz, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jeff Gordon, Adam Sandler, Jimmy Fallon, Ricky Gervais, Jason Mraz, Judah Friedlander and many others. I learned that one of my faves, Jason Mraz was extremely excited about his Sesame Street experience and seemed borderline stalkerish. haha. Cute! (For the record, I probably seemed full-on stalkerish)
Beyond being loved by so many generations, what’s so fabulous about Sesame Street is, they do what they can to stay ahead of the curve. For example, inviting NYC-area bloggers and engaging with us to create that important dialogue was huge. Even further, one of the reasons Sesame Street invited bloggers was to share their latest developments, so that we, in turn, could share with our readers/followers/whom ever will listen.
A chance to hang out with Abby Cadabby and sit in Big Bird’s Nest? Um, yes, please!
To emphasize its 40th year of awesomeness in children’s media, Sesame Street upped its ante with its digital presence. In particular, their website, Sesamestreet.org, became even more child-friendly, in terms of navigation, lively graphics and interactive features. When you first log on, you’re greeted by a familiar-faced Muppet, which is sure to lure in the kidlets. You, or shall I say the kids, can create a “My Street” option to personalize their Sesamestreet.org page. But it’s the new games that stand out to me…er, I mean, the kid.
All the games are, once again, extremely child-friendly and interactive. The games can be navigated by character (so hard to choose!), theme (the fall ones are so fun and timely) and subject (we’re fans of the art games.) They can also be added to the My Street option, which gives you easy access to those games that you know and love. What I love most about the new games is that some of them are perfect for the littlest kids who don’t quite have a grasp on keyboard functionality, but show an interest in say, animals.
While I’m not one to park a teeny tiny kid in front of a computer for hours at a time, every once in awhile, it’s fun to let my 2-year old do a little click clacking for a change. With the Old McDonald game, the kid can just peck away at the keys and animals appear with each strike of the keyboard—it’s like magic!
In addition to all the games, the site has tabs for other interactive features such as Playlists and Video. We’re a dancing and singing kind of family, so I love playing the different songs to dance along with the kid. The video features are so fantastic for parents to share their love of Sesame Street with their kids. Alongside of the newer segments [Neil Patrick Harris as the Shoe Fairy is my favorite modern guest appearance video] of the shows are awesome classics, like ones with Kermit, Bert and Ernie and Cookie Monster. Just like the games, the videos and playlists can be navigated by character, theme and subject.
But Sesame Street hasn’t forgotten about the parents. On the parents tab, I love how there’s a different media for milestones [we just watched “cookie is a sometime food” under the 2 years tab] and links to all the goings on at Sesame Street. One of the newer features, however, is the inclusion of B is for Blog: Sesame Family Robinson. It’s written by Marty Robinson who plays Telly Monster and Snuffleupagus and Annie Evans, a writer for Sesame Street.
Their blog gives parents an insider’s look of a true Sesame Street family. Recently married on set, they are now the proud parents of twins, Lyra and Ripley. After meeting Marty and Annie (and their cutie twins, too) on the set, as well as during lunch, suffice it to say, Sesame Street is a family show—in more ways than one. Not only has the show spent the past four decades of making us laugh, sing and dance while talking about family-related topics, the people who make the show happen ARE one giant family. And thanks for the kind shout out, too! [Babyrific is my mama blog]
And from the bottom of my heart, it really, truly was an honor to experience the deep family bond on THE actual Sesame Street. It’s my hope that my kid will go on to share the same love of The Street with HIS kids one day.
Happy 40th Sesame Street, thanks for all the laughs, dancing, singing and Muppet fun!
“It surprises most people to learn that pneumonia kills more children than any other disease – taking more than 2 million young lives annually,” former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and Save the Children Board member Bill Frist, MD and co-author Dr. Richard Sezibera, Rwanda`s Minister of Health, said in this week’s edition of The Lancet.
Image courtesy of Save the Children
Pneumonia takes the lives of more children under 5 than measles, malaria, and AIDS combined. The disease takes the life of one child every 15 seconds, and accounts for 20% of all deaths of children under 5 worldwide.
To be quite honest, I can be included in the ‘surprised’ contingent.
Instead of the usual posts focusing on material goods, today I will be focusing on a much more serious issue. If I can help it, I’m hoping to challenge my naivety and help spread the word by taking part in the Global Pneumonia Summit on the First Annual World Pneumonia Day today, November 2. Nearly 100 leading global health organizations from around the world are convening in NYC to recognize World Pneumonia Day to urge policymakers to help prevent and treat pneumonia.
I was recently tapped as one of the 5 top tier bloggers to attend this event on behalf of Vicks, and I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of this fight. Vicks is an official member of the Global Coalition Against Childhood Pneumonia and has partnered with Save the Children to help and deliver treatment to children stricken with pneumonia all over the world. As part of this effort, I hope to absorb and share as much as I can, as part of this incredibly important outreach.
Join me as I live tweet and blog from the event to help educate and change the way the world responds to childhood pneumonia.
In the meantime, please feel free to read more about World Pneumonia Day, follow World Pneumonia Day on Twitter and if you can, wear blue jeans.