Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Playing with Grandma LINKY

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Backyard Safari Outfitters

Pin It Thanks to Team Mom we were given the chance to try out some more cool gear from Backyard Safari Outfitters. Last summer we reviewed the Bug Vacuum, Field Binocs and Cargo Vest.  This time we were sent a Base Camp Shelter, Camouflage, Hiking Stick and the 3-in-1 Compass Tool.

All three of my kids were very excited to try the products out.

Aiden immediately grabbed the hiking stick and the compass and ran outside. He was a big fan of the wolf-head on the hiking stick because it looked like a "warrior's weapon". I am thinking that is not the intended purpose but it is definitely what my sons' have done with it.

Owen told me the stick was like a really cool wolf weapon.

Olivia is a huge fan of the Base Camp Shelter. She hung the camouflage up to make a "secret house"...

Aiden almost immediately took the camouflage back down and wrapped it around himself...

He ran around for quite awhile all covered up and he has told me several times that the camouflage is "the coolest thing ever".

Owen is our natural outdoor explorer kid and he was really excited about the iron-on patches for his cargo vest and the field guides that came with each product.

The shelter has pockets on the sides to hold all their cool gear and it comes with a fun little lantern as well.

The boys had fun figuring out the compass and have told me they want to bring all this cool stuff with us when we go camping this summer.

One of the things I love most about the Backyard Safari gear is how it encourages the kids to really explore their surroundings. Aiden was thrilled to find a little magnifying glass in the compass and spent a good deal of time looking at all sorts of stuff up close.

We've only had the gear for a couple of weeks but the kids have used it every sunny day since it arrived and so far nothing has gotten broken... which I find astounding.

I am a huge fan of Backyard Safari Gear and I know that every kid we've seen use it has loved it too. Perfect for summer fun!

Thanks so much to Team Mom and Backyard Safari Outfitters for giving us the opportunity to review these super cool products!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Olivia...

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I took this picture of Olivia hiding under a chair on our deck to "surprise" daddy... of course I had to actually go and tell daddy that Olivia was waiting to surprise him since he was working in his office at the time. She loves to hide and surprise us but she is pretty terrible at actually being surprising *snicker*.

She is growing up so fast that it blows my mind. She is getting so tall and looking more and more like a little girl and less and less like a preschooler. Good thing capri pants are fashionable for girls because all of her pants are too short on her now- I can't keep up!

Olivia has started singing to herself more and more and it is just so darn cute. If we notice her she stops right away though. Many times a day I pretend to not hear her sing and not see her dance just so she will keep doing it. I hope she doesn't inherit my self-consciousness. Sometimes she will "perform" for us but not very often.

Today she did something for Owen and then she said "I did that for you Owen because you are my best friend. You and Aiden are my bestest friends. I wuv you Owen."

Of course Owen just grunted and Aiden ignored her entirely ( boys... sheesh! lol ) but I thought it was so adorable. She just adores her big brothers... whether they pay attention to her or not :).

I love my little princess :).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Birthday to my love...

Pin It It was my husband's birthday today... and I managed to take ZERO pictures! So I stole this one off of his facebook wall...

Happy birthday honey, I love you!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beautiful Blossoms

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It makes me happy to see these lovely blossoms on the tree in our front yard... FINALLY!! That was a looonnnngggg winter my friends. Just seeing the green leaves on the trees gives me joy. Yay Spring!

(and yes, I realize most of you are already starting summer... and we will be soon enough... but for now I am enjoying Spring!)

So pretty!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


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I doubt that I will EVER fully understand them :).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Flower for You! LINKY

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While you are here don't forget to enter to win a custom Facebook landing page and custom twitter background made just for you! Enter Here.

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Gnomeo & Juliet

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Gnomeo & Juliet

Product Description

From a director of Shrek 2 comes your chance to step into the secret world of garden gnomes - Gnomeo & Juliet. Perfect for the whole family, this fresh and funny makeover of one of the world's most timeless story features music from Sir Elton John, and the voice talents of Emily Blunt, James McAvoy and sir Michael Caine. Caught up in a feud between neighbors, Gnomeo and Juliet must overcome as many obstacles as their namesakes. But with flamboyant pink flamingoes and epic lawnmower races, can this young couple find lasting happiness? Complete with hilarious never-before-seen bonus features, Gnomeo & Juliet is an out-of-the-ordinary animated comedy your entire family will love. We just gnome it!

Bonus Features: 
DVD & Movie Download: 
 Elton Builds a Garden 
 Frog Talk with Ashley Jensen 
 “Crocodile Rock” Music Video, featuring Elton John and Nelly Furtado  
 DVD Bonus plus: 
 2 Alternate Endings with Filmmaker Introductions  
 Deleted & Alternate Scenes with Filmmaker Introductions, including: 
o 1 Alternate Opening 
o 1 Alternate Scene 
o 6 Deleted Scenes  
 The Fawn of Darkness, featuring Ozzy Osbourne  

Film Clip- Damage


I thought Gnomeo & Juliet was a really cute little movie. There were a lot of bits that were funny to the grown-ups in the room which was clever.  I thought the music was fun and perfect for the story - you could definitely tell that Elton John had a huge part in the making of this film! Ozzy Osbourne as the Fawn of Darkness cracks me right up. There were actually several times that various characters made me giggle but Featherstone the pink plastic flamingo is easily my favourite!

Featherstone- Film Clip

My kids have all watched it at least a dozen times since it arrived at our home last week. I asked them what they thought of the movie and here is what they told me...

Owen (age 7): It is awesome because it is awesome! Gnomeo is my favourite because he is an awesome person. 

Aiden (age 9): I love it because it is awesome. My favourite part is the big battle when the fence falls down. Oh wait my favourite favourite part is when Gnomeo & Juliet first meet. I like the music. My favourite character is Gnomeo. 

Olivia (age 4): I love Gnomeo and Juliet because they love each other and they live in the garden but they make everyone friends and it is funny!

I am certain we will be watching Gnomeo & Juliet many more times in the future :).

*I was sent a free copy of this movie for review*

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Michael Franti & Spearhead: The Sound of Sunshine

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Michael Franti and Spearhead: The Sound of Sunshine

The Sound Of Sunshine -- the inspired and inspiring new album by Michael Franti & Spearhead -- is a kind of musical sun shower, a bright, beautiful and often buoyant song cycle created to bring all kinds of listeners a sense of hope during rough and rainy times for so many in our world. 
“Music is sunshine,” says Michael Franti, one of the most positive and conscious artists in music today. “Like sunshine, music is a powerful force that can instantly and almost chemically change your entire mood. Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose.” 
“Music is something you can’t hold in your hands, smell it, taste it or even see it, yet somehow just coming together and feeling these little vibrations that tickle our eardrums can somehow lift us all up out of our most difficult moments in life to unimaginable heights.”
Ironically, often joyous and uplifting The Sound Of Sunshine actually came out of a darker and tougher personal experience for Franti. “Last August, my appendix ruptured suddenly in the middle of a tour and I ended up in the hospital for eight days while they figured out what was wrong with me,” recalls Franti. “I almost died and I wrote many of these songs coming out of that experience while I was in the hospital for another week or so after that. During that time, I really took a moment to prioritize what’s truly important in my life — and in the end, that’s really about the people who I love.  Even in that hospital, I could laugh with the people I love, cry with them, and start to find the sun again.”  
- taken from MichaelFranti.com

You can listen to The Sound of Sunshine online too.


I really enjoyed this CD. I thought it was bright and uplifting and a fun listen.  I got my hippie-mom to listen to it and tell me what she thought too...

The Sound of Sunshine is a nice mix of Regae & R&R. Excellent sound mixing and clarity – the lyrics are totally understandable, which is unusual and therefore noteworthy. This album is all about real life and will appeal to most music lovers. I like the way Michael takes a sad verse of the lyrics and turns it into something positive in the next verse. This CD should appeal to all age groups.

Thanks so much to Michael Franti and Music Moms for providing me with a copy of this CD to review. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lemonade Mouth: Extended Edition

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LEMONADE MOUTH: Extended Edition

Be heard. Be strong. Be proud. It's time to turn up the music and have some fun with an all-new Disney Original Movie, starring Bridgit Mendler and Adam Hicks and introducing ten awesome new songs!

When five ragtag freshman first meet in detention, it seems they have nothing in common. But, through music, they form an unbreakable bond and discover they have the makings of the greatest high school garage band in history! In the face of incredible odds, Olivia, Stella, Wen, Mohini and Charlie find they can make a real difference when they learn to lean on each other and let go of everything holding back their dreams.

Turn the world into your own stage with Lemonade Mouth: Extended Edition, complete with an exclusive music scene and featuring an exclusive extended ending only available on Disney DVD With Digital Copy. Life is just a roller coaster; take the ride!

Available May 24, 2011


This is a fun movie. It is definitely geared to the younger set but I enjoyed watching it too. All three of my kids have watched Lemonade Mouth several times since it arrived at our house. They all love the music and my boys have asked for the songs for their iPods.

I asked the boys what they thought of the movie and this is what they said:

Aiden: I want the songs on my iPod! This movie is Ultimate! My favourite part is the music and the concert at the end is so cool. I didn't like the jail part though- that was sad. 

Owen: I wish Lemonade Mouth was a real band and I could go to a concert! This movie is awesome!

I love that the movie is 100% kid-friendly. I can't think of anything inappropriate with it at all. It also has a great message for young people. I also love that a digital copy was included in the 2-Disc combo pack. I think the combo packs are brilliant!

Here is a slideshow:

Thanks so much to Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment for sending me a copy of this DVD to review!

Glee Encore

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The perfect party companion, enjoy the most talked about musical performances when “GLEE” Encore arrives onto Blu-ray and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.  The hit musical television series now has more Billboard Magazine Hot 100 chart entries than any other artist, topping Elvis Presley and James Brown.   This full-length DVD features a set list of Season One’s most sensational musical numbers – back to back so the party never has to end!  Experience all your favorite hit songs by Lady Gaga, Madonna, Journey, and much more.

“GLEE” is produced by Ryan Murphy Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television.  Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan are co-creators of the series.  Murphy, Falchuk, Brennan and Dante Di Loreto serve as executive producers.


  • "On My Own"

  • "Don't Stop Believin'"

  • "Gold Digger"

  • "I Say a Little Prayer"

  • "Alone"

  • "Somebody to Love"

  • "It's My Life/Confessions Part II"

  • "No Air"

  • "You Keep Me Hanging On"

  • "Defying Gravity"

  • "I'll Stand By You"

  • "Don't Stand So Close to Me/Young Girl"

  • "Lean on Me"

  • "Imagine"

  • "True Colors"

  • "Smile"

  • "Don't Rain on My Parade"

  • "You Can't Always Get What You Want"

  • "Gives You Hell"

  • "Hello"

  • "Vogue"

  • "Like a Virgin"

  • "Like a Prayer"

  • "Fire"

  • "One Less Bell to Answer/A House is Not a Home"

  • "Beautiful"

  • "Run Joey Run"

  • "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

  • "Jessie's Girl"

  • "Rose's Turn"

  • "Bad Romance"

  • "Beth"

  • "Faithfully"

  • "Any Way You Want It/Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'"


    Glee Encore is just great fun! I've watched every episode of Glee and I thought it was so fun to be able to see just the songs back to back. I actually really enjoyed having it on in the background while I cleaned the house and while I was packing... might as well make a really boring job better! It is also fun for the kids. The show itself is not always kid-appropriate but the songs themselves are family friendly and we all had fun dancing to the music. If you are a Gleek than you will probably enjoy this one a lot.

    Thanks so much to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for sending me a copy of this Blu-ray to review.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Depression Distraction

    Pin It I am feeling depressed today and looking at my husband's pictures always makes me smile so I thought I would share them with you...

    His pictures tend to remind me of all the GOOD things in my life... things that are far more important than stupid details like where we will be living in 6 weeks.

    Because even if we are living in a box under the bridge by the river I will still have my husband and my kids and there will still be flowers and birds and the world will still hold lots of beauty and God will still be present.

    That being said the End of the World doesn't sound like such a bad thing to me. It would sure solve the whole having to look for a job and place to live thing :).

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Daddy - Daughter Moment...

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    Pin It My boys think this new toy looks cool...

    I think it looks a bit like marbles on crack lol :)

    Have you heard of DaGeDar? Have you tried it? What do you think?

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Wordless Wednesday: Shining a Light on the Situation (w/ LINKY)

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    Custom Facebook Landing Page & Twitter Background GIVEAWAY!! CLOSED

    Pin It This giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Darlene Demell and Tammi @My Organized Chaos for winning!

    As many of you have already noticed I got a fabulous new blog design this past week!

    I hired the lovely Julie of Deluxe Designs to give my blog a new look as well as a new facebook landing page with cute matching profile picture and a custom twitter background.

     ( my lovely new twitter background)

    This is not a review since I actually paid Julie to do the work (gasp!) but I wanted to tell you all that she is just delightful to work with. Even when I was super annoying and picky she was sweet and accommodating every step of the way. The process was really easy and I found Julie's prices to be very reasonable. Thanks so much Julie for working until everything was just perfect for me :)

    (my cute new facebook landing page)

    In order to celebrate  my brand new blog design I have decided to do a fun giveaway!

    So What is The Prize?

    For ONE Winner:

    A facebook landing page and custom twitter background made just for you by the delightful Julie of Deluxe Designs (purchased by me) and a blog button and custom twitter background (donated by Julie)!

    For a SECOND Winner:

              One custom twitter background donated by Julie!

    And just because Julie really is a sweetheart she is offering you all 10% off any blog design just by telling her that I referred you! 


    Main Entry: Follow me on Google Friend Connect

    Extra Entries:

    • For FIVE extra entries add my NEW blog button to your sidebar or links page (or REPLACE the old one that you already have - leaving my old button up does not count)! 

    Tara's View of the World

    *(please leave 5 separate comments... I know it is a pain but it is the only fair way for you to FOR SURE get your extra entries!)*

    • For three more extra entries follow Deluxe Designs on Facebook and/or follow Deluxe Designs blog with Google Friend Connect. (if you do both you can get 6 extra entries)

    Deluxe Designs

    For even more additional entries (not required!) you can do any of the following- be sure to LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT for each thing that you do!...

    • "Like" Tara's View of the World on Facebook
    • Subscribe to this blog via email (you need to verify your subscription for it to count!)
    • Subscribe to this blog via the reader of your choice 
    • Follow tarasview on Twitter and tweet this giveaway (up to 5 times per day) Use @Tarasview in your tweet if you would like me to retweet for you.
    • Connect with me on LinkedIn
    • Follow me on StumbleUpon
    • Follow me on Digg
    • publicize this giveaway on any site and in any way and let me know that you did (ex. adding it to a Mr. Linky on a giveaway site, submitting it to digg etc.)
    • comment on / like / tweet out any other post and let me know that you did :)

    This giveaway is open to readers WORLDWIDE.

     I will choose two winners on June 1, 2011 using random.org.

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    all rights reserved. 2011