Eliminate back pain and stress with AIRBAC™


Backpack Stock Photo

Times have changed since I was last in school. I never used a backpack. I just carried around all my books in my hands. Some of my classmates had backpacks but for the most part we all carried our books in our hands.

These days students are given books that are inches thick and are weighed down – literally – with a ton of homework. It’s next to impossible to carry all your books in your arms. You need a backpack. Sometimes I think kids need multiple backpacks to hold all their books and supplies. It’s just crazy!

I don’t know how my son carries his backpack around on his back. I can’t even pick it up! It’s way too heavy.

We constantly tell him to leave some of his books and supplies in his locker, but the high school is huge and sometimes it’s not possible for him to get to his locker. He has no choice but to lug it all around.

I can’t imagine what all that weight and strain is doing to his back and shoulders.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, backpack injuries in kids aged five to 18 increased 6.5 percent between 2010 and 2011. And although the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends backpacks weigh less than 10-15 percent of a person’s
body weight, realistically, consumers may not be able to control the weight of their necessities.

We have gone through several backpacks over the years but we’ve never found anything that could carry all his stuff and take some “wear and tear” off his back and shoulders.

When school first started we received to review a backpack from a company called AIRBAC™ . AIRBAC™ is a unique backpack that is designed to help alleviate the stress the average backpack puts on your back and shoulders.

AIRBAC™ is the only backpack designed to alleviate the pressure and stress on a person’s upper and lower back caused by excessive weight. The patented air support system takes the weight off of the back by moving heavy contents into a more comfortable, back-friendly position, helping wearers feel like they’re carrying half of the weight. Offered in a wide variety of styles, AIRBAC™ was created for school-age children, college students, business travelers, outdoor enthusiasts and photographers.

AIRBAC™  features a small area at the bottom/back of the backpack that is filled with air. The backpack comes with the air already filled in the pouch. You can add more if needed with a bike tire air pump.

The AIRBAC™  backpack looks like an average backpack. It has plenty of room for books, a laptop or tablet, cellphone, supplies and more.

Airbac backpack

My son didn’t even notice that there was a “pocket” of air in the back of the backpack until I pointed it out to him.

AIRBAC™  doesn’t make the load you carry lighter, it simply helps with weight distribution, spinal alignment and posture.

In the past I’ve noticed that my son’s backpack would hang down low on his back, even when he uses the straps that go across his chest and waist. The weight of his books and supplies pulls the backpack down. I’m surprised he never tipped over backwards because of it.

With AIRBAC™  the air pocket helps to balance the load better, keeping the backpack where it should be. It doesn’t hang low causing distress on your shoulders.

Here are more benefits to using an AIRBAC™ backpack.

Promotes Better Posture and Spinal Alignment

People tend to bend forward or hunch to compensate for the extra weight in a regular backpack. The AIRBAC™ system, which evenly redistributes the weight across the back, allows the body to relax in an upright position, promoting better posture and proper spinal alignment.

Built-In Shock Absorbers

Repetitive impact due to running or walking with a heavy backpack can cause increased stress on the lower back. To address this issue, AIRBAC™ technology offers the ability to absorb the impact a heavy bag may have on the spine, helping outdoor enthusiasts to exercise pain-free.

Air-Cushioned Protection

The patented air support system coupled with AIRBAC™ padded technology offers a secure home for valuable contents, protecting laptops,
iPads and other important materials.

Adjustable for a Customized Fit

From children to adults and student-athletes to active outdoor enthusiasts, AIRBAC™ was designed to support the spinal health of all body types. The product’s padded shoulder straps and patented air support system adjust to meet a wide variety of body types.

My son loves this backpack. He’s never once complained about it like he has with other backpacks.He also tells me it’s more comfortable to wear.

I tried to get a photo of him wearing the AIRBAC™, but he’s 15 and teenagers are not always happy to pose for photos. This is the only photo I was able to snap when school first started (and the weather was nicer).

AIRBAC backpack

You can see how the backpack lays flat against his back. That is because the small pocket of air on the back/bottom. It keeps everything where it’s supposed to be.

This is a great video that gives you a better idea as to how AIRBAC™ is the better for you option.


AIRBAC™ is not only great for students but also for hikers, travelers and anyone else who lugs around a lot of things in a backpack.

I wish we knew about AIRBAC™ years ago. I would have purchased them for both of my kids.

The quality of the AIRBAC™ is outstanding. With proper care I am sure my son’s AIRBAC™ will last for a long time. It will be nice not having to replace his backpack every few months.

You would think a better for you product like AIRBAC™ would be very costly. Compared to other quality backpacks (and big brand name backpacks too), AIRBAC™ costs about the same. Student backpacks range from $49-$89. They also have different designs and colors available.

AIRBAC™ has plenty of room for all your “stuff” too.

If you would like to learn more about AIRBAC™ or check out the available styles, visit AIRBAC.com. You can also find the brand on social media (links found on the site’s home page).



*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


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Lalaloopsy “First Steps” DVD & Doll Giveaway (ends 10/20/14)


Lalaloopsy First Steps

I remember the very first time I “met” Lalaloopsy. We were having dinner with family friends and their young daughter brought to the table several tiny rag doll looking dolls. I thought they were super adorable. When I asked what the dolls were called I was told Lalaloopsy. Ever since that first day I saw the dolls I have been a fan. Even though my kids are teenagers and are not into the show I still think they are super adorable characters.

I work with young children and I have heard the children mention Lalaloopsy on more than one occasion. We also have a Lalaloopsy coloring book at work which is very popular with the little ones.

What is not to love about the Lalaloopsy dolls. They also have an adorable and entertaining series on Nick Jr.

Since they were first released Lalaloopsy has been made available in a variety of products such as big dolls, tiny dolls, play sets, costumes, DVDs, books and more.

There is a new DVD that is available today (October 14, 2014) on DVD, Digital HD and VOD (Video on Demand) called Lalaloospsy Babies: First Steps. The DVD is from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The new movie explores the magical beginings of the Lalaloopsy friends.

Join the Lalaloopsy friends for this sweet movie about their first adventures together! After they discover an old scrapbook filled with photos and mementos from when they were babies, the friends reminisce about their nursery days where they found their special bond and first met their adorable pets. They realize how those early adventures helped to shape their personalities, and reminisce about becoming stitched together, friends forever in this delightful, fun-filled movie that Lalaloopsy fans will treasure!

Featured on “The Talk” host Julie Chen’s top toy list, the Lalaloopsy collection continues to be one of the fastest selling toy brands. The Lalaloopsy Babies: First Steps! DVD features bonus material including two Lalaloopsy Mini Adventures and a Pet n’ Seek! Interactive Maze, and will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.98.


Lalaloopsy Mini Adventures

  • Apple Pickle Pie
  • Timber

Lalaloopsy Babies: Pet n’ Seek! Interactive Maze

The DVD is super adorable. The Lalaloopsy friends are cute as they can be to begin with. Dare I say they are even more adorable as babies.

Check out the trailer for the new DVD.


“Sew” Cute!

In addition to the new DVD fans of the show can also purchase dolls from the Lalaloopsy Babies doll line including the Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise dolls. The Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise dolls are available at retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

We have one of the dolls (Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise Blossom Flowerpot Doll). She’s a nice size doll (perfect for a toddler to hold and snuggle with) and she comes with three several diapers, a hat, bib, botltle, bowl, spoon and a charm bracelet for your little one to wear. Her head, legs and arms move

This doll has magical coloring changing diapers. When you feed the doll (water) and press it’s belly button she “poops” magical charms. The button releases water into the diaper which “frees” a little charm that is buried in the diaper. Personally I think it’s a very strange idea, but I guess some kids enjoy it. At least it’s better then the dolls I played with as a kid (40+ years ago) that ate “food” which got all moldy and rancid inside the dolls stomach. I’m sure my mom would have preferred giving me a doll that “poops” charms from drinking water then trying to figure out how to clean and disinfect a doll with mold in it’s gut.

You don’t have to make the doll drink water if you don’t want to. I am donating our doll to my job for the little ones to enjoy. I don’t plan on filling the bottle up with water. The kids can simply make believe there is liquid in the bottle.

Look for both the new video and a dolls at a retail store near you.

Diaper Surprise and DVD

I have a special giveaway for a lucky reader – a Lalaloopsy prize package! The prize package consists of TWO Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise dolls (Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise Peanut Big Top Doll and Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise Blossom Flowerpot Doll) and a copy of the new Lalaloopsy DVD Lalaloopsy Babies: First Steps!, compliments of Lions Gate Home Entertainment. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 20, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received a free product sample and screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


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Caillou 25th Anniversary DVD & Book Gift Set


Caillou 25th Anniversary Gift Set

Are you familiar with the adorable little boy named Caillou? You can find him at PBS Kids.

Caillou is celebrating a big anniversary this year. The popular children’s series is turning 25 this year. I can’t believe it’s been around that long. I remember my kids watching the show when they were little but I never could have imagined that the show was around for so long.

If you are not familiar with Caillou he’s a four year old boy who lives with his parents and younger sister Rosie. He has a wonderful imagination and is able to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Every day is an adventure for this inquisitive and imaginative little boy.

To celebrate his anniversary, PBS Distribution is releasing today (October 14, 2014) a special 25th anniversary DVD and book gift set. The DVD features “Caillou’s Family Favorites” (14 episodes in total). The beautifully illustrated book has 48 pages and features not one but two stories – Training Wheels and Captain Caillou.

The episodes featured on this special DVD include;

Caillou’s Surprise

  • Caillou’s Surprise
  • A Surprise for Miss Martin
  • A Surprise Sleepover

People I Love

  • Mystery Valentine
  • Dancing at Grandma’s
  • Play Ball!
  • Caillou’s Sleepover Guest

Captain Caillou

  • Captain Caillou
  • The Loudest Noise
  • Caillou’s First Wedding

Knowing How!

  • Skating Lessons
  • Where I Live
  • Just Like Me
  • Just In Time

In addition to these episodes the DVD also contains fun interactive games and coloring pages which are sure to delight any Caillou fan. There is also an option Spanish audio.

As a parent I know that some “kiddie” shows can easily get on your nerves, especially ones which repetitious music or scenes. Caillou is not one of those shows. I find the show to be delightful and charming and I absolutely love Caillou. I always have. I think he’s adorable. We even had a Caillou doll at one point (we either gave it away or it’s packed away in the basement).

The book is a wonderful addition to this gift set. Each page features colorful illustrations and enough text to keep a little ones attention. It’s an easy reader too so older elementary aged children could easily read this on their own.

With the holiday season fast approaching this would be a wonderful gift for the Caillou fan in your life. The set has a suggested retail price of only $14.99. It also runs for about 100 minutes.

Look for Caillou 25th Anniversary DVD & Book gift set where ever movies are sold.

For more information about Caillou, games and coloring pages visit the official Caillou website at PBSKids.org/Caillou.

Is your family a fan of the adorable little boy Caillou? Do you have a favorite episode or character? Feel free to share your thoughts.



*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Ella the Elephant Season One Volume One now available on DVD


Ella the Elephant DVD

I enjoy watching children’s shows sometimes. That doesn’t make me weird (does it?). I just find them so sweet and charming. Even though I’m an adult I still get a kick out of watching shows on Disney Jr., Nick Jr., and PBS. It makes me miss those years when my kids were little. Sigh… they grow up so quickly.

There is a series I have seen from time to time called Ella the Elephant. It’s a show on Disney Junior.

Ella the Elephant first air on Canadian television. It premiered on Disney Junior in February of this year.

The show is based on book written by Carmela D’Amico and Steven D’Amico.

Journey to an island of adventures where the magic of friendship has never been so much fun! Join Ella the Elephant and her kindhearted friends in this all-new animated series featuring 8 charming episodes. Elephant Island is home to many curiosities, but when Ella and her friends’ appetite for fun lands them in some tricky, often hilarious situations, it’s up to Ella’s imagination and her magic red hat to save the day! It’s a collection of teamwork, lessons and adventure for the whole family to enjoy.

This is truly a very sweet series. It’s hard not to fall in love with Ella and her friends. They are cute and entertaining.

Sometimes kiddie shows can be a bit too much for adults, but I didn’t find that to be the case with this show.

Ella the Elephant is a computer generated animated show. The interesting thing is that the background looks more like illustrations from a book. It’s really a unique looking animation. I like the illustrated look. I think it adds to the shows charm.

If your child or grandchild is a fan of the show you’ll be delighted to know that Ella the Elephant Season One Volume One: The Magic of Friendship is now available on DVD. The DVD features eight Ella the Elephant episodes.

  • Ella’s Got Talent/Safety First
  • Trunk Trooper/Ella in Charge
  • Girl’s Club/Soapbox Squabble
  • Treasure Hunters/Ella Borrows Trouble
  • Ella Bakes a Cake/Camp Ella
  • Ella on the Ball/Up, Up and Away
  • Tea Party Trouble/Home Again
  • Ella’s Carnival/Monkey Business

If you’d like to check out Ella’s YouTube channel where you can catch snippets of the show’s episodes you can find it here – Ella the Elephant on YouTube.

Look for the DVD where DVDs are sold. It has a suggested price of $14.98.

You an also check out the Ella the Elephant page on Disney Junior’s website. There you can find games, coloring pages and more! DisneyJunior.com/Ella-the-Elephant.

Is your family fans of Ella the Elephant? Do you have a favorite characters and/or episode? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Ella the Elephant


*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Birds Eye Veggin’ In LA With Laura Marano Sweepstakes



As a mom I know first hand that it’s not always easy to get your kids to eat what you want them to, especially if you have a picky eater (or two) in your home.

Did you know that only ONE is ten children eats the recommended amount of vegetables*? (*Statistics from USDA State of the Plate) That is sad! Vegetables are so good and can be made in so many different ways. Parents need to take this seriously and find delicious ways to incorporate vegetables into daily diet.

I’m grateful that my kids have always loved vegetables. When they were little I fed them all vegetables including the vegetables that many children run away from like spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Even now as teenagers my kids love vegetables. We eat broccoli several times a week too. They also eat things like chickpeas as a snack.

Our daughter actually prefers vegetables raw over steamed (I always steam veggies). There are some vegetables, like carrots, she refuses to eat cooked. They must be raw.

I think the key to getting kids and “big kids” (aka – your significant other) is to serve them delicious recipes that incorporate vegetables. They will be too busy enjoying the flavorful meal that they won’t stop to think about the vegetables they are eating.

Birds Eye® and the Walt Disney Company® want to make sure children are eating their vegetables. They have teamed up to increase vegetable consumption awareness among children in the United States.

Veggin in La Sweeps

The brands came up with an initiative called The Veggin’ In LA With Laura Marano Sweepstakes presented by Birds Eye. Their objective is to show children that veggies are “cool”, fun and delicious.

The sweepstakes is currently running and will end on September 24, 2014.

The grand prize is a wonderful Los Angeles, California, to “veg out” and enjoy a private dinner party with Laura Marano, one of the stars of Disney Channel’s popular comedy series, “Austin & Ally,”and a Birds Eye chef.

“We can’t wait to start the sweepstakes and get kids excited about vegetables one bite at a time,” explained Mike Barkley, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Birds Eye. “The collaboration between Birds Eye and Disney is a perfect fit, as we’re both fully committed to children’s wellness and improving the vegetable consumption in this country.”

The sweepstakes is part of Birds Eye’s “Step Up To The Plate” campaign, dedicated to encouraging kids to try new veggies, while helping parents explore different preparation methods and approaches to making veggies fun. The sweepstakes also supports the Disney “Magic of Healthy Living” initiative, which partners with parents and inspires kids to live a healthier lifestyle.

Entering is super easy to do. Simply purchase any Birds Eye products and visit Disney.com/Veggies and input the UPC codes from the Birds Eye product/products.

There is no purchase necessary. You can also enter without the UPC code by sending the keyword “VEGGIES” via a text to 347639 (Disney).

Not only is this an easy sweeptakes to enter it’s also a healthy one because it will encourage families to take their veggie intake more seriously.

Does your child/grandchild enjoy a variety of vegetables? Do you think your child/grandchild gets enough vegetables in their daily diet?

How do YOU get your child/grandchild to eat their veggies? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Laura Marano

Laura Marano


*I have partnered with Birds Eye to bring you this information. I received free product coupons and branded items in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 



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New from Nickelodeon – Let’s Learn: Patterns & Shapes

Lets Learn Patterns and Shapes

A new DVD will be released tomorrow (September 9, 2014) from Nickelodeon Home Entertainment called Let’s Learn: Patterns & Shapes.

With the new school year already in full swing, this DVD would be perfect for a little one who has just started nursery school or Pre-K. It’s also a fun DVD for children who are big fans of popular Nickelodeon programs such as Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues and Team Umizoomi.

This new DVD is part of Nickelodeon’s “Let’s Learn” series.

In a fun-filled two hours of “edu-tainment,” kids can play along to five new episodes from Team Umizoomi, Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues and Ni Hao Ka-lan! as they explore circles, squares, triangles, and more. The set also includes a shapes worksheet!

The episodes featured on this DVD include;

  • Team Umizoomi: Team Umizoomi vs. The Shape Bandit
  • Dora the Explorer: Catch the Shape Train!
  • Ni Hao Kai-lan: The Dinosaur Balloon
  • Blue’s Clues: Shape Searchers
  • Blue’s Room: Shape Detectives

The DVD has a run time of 138 minutes and is distribute by Paramount Home Media Distribution.

What I love about DVD’s like this is that they make learning FUN. For most kids it seems like regular episodes to their favorite television shows. What they don’t realize is that they are learning at the same time they are being entertained by their favorite characters.

As a mom I feel like my children learned better when it was fun and entertaining, not boring. Actually I think I learn better too when it’s more fun then learning.

I love that the set also includes worksheets for your little ones to practice with. It’s nice that Nickelodeon and Paramount added that nice bonus with the DVD.

Look for Nickelodeon’s Let’s Learn: Patterns & Shapes where most DVDs are sold.

For more information about Nickelodeon shows visit www.Nick.com.

What do you think about using entertainment to education children? Is it a medium you use in your home? Feel free to share your thoughts.



*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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