Movie Review: Maya the Bee Movie and FREE recipes



Now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD is the super adorable, fun family movie Maya the Bee.

This is such an adorable movie. I fell in love with all the characters.

Maya is a little bee with a big heart. She dreams of an exciting life of freedom, fun and adventure – the world is simply far too interesting to stay inside a hive! Her funny attempts to fit in bring her into trouble with the Queen’s narrow-minded royal advisor, Buzzlina. With her best friend Willy, Maya buzzes out into the meadow on an exhilarating adventure of self-discovery.

While most bees believe that other insects should be feared, Maya can’t help but make friends with Flip the charismatic and eccentric grasshopper, Kurt the dung beetle and even Sting, a young hornet. But when the Queen’s royal jelly is stolen, it will take Maya and all of her bug buddies to figure out who did it and how to save the day! 

One of the best-known and beloved children’s brands of all-time, the stories of Maya The Bee have been passed down among generations of families for years. Originally a German children’s novel by Waldemar Bonsels, The Adventures of Maya the Bee was published over a hundred years ago in 1912. Since the original publishing, the book has been translated into many other languages and enjoyed by children all over the world. In addition to the book, Maya The Bee is also a comic book series, appeared in various iterations as animated series and now a major animated feature film.

I absolutely LOVE this film. It’s adorable without being cheesy.

The characters are all very enjoyable and likable. Even the so called “bad guys” (wasps) and the bad bee were charming.

This is a family friendly film. In fact, it’s recommended by the Dove Foundation and family friendly entertainment. Personally I think that people young and old can enjoy this film. I’m a forty-something year old woman and I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful film. In fact, I am keeping it as part of our family’s movie collection. Often I donate movies after I review them, but some I like so much that I keep them. Maya the Bee is a keeper.

I hope to see another Maya movie. I would love to see Maya merchandise too. I would love to add a Maya plush doll to my collection.

Of course there are bonus features. Normally I watch them and review them, but this time I wasn’t able to. I’ll watch them in the near future and update the post when I do.

The two-Disc Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack contains the following special features: Movie presentation on Blu-ray 3D and 2D, DVD and a Digital Copy of the film.

  • A Interview With Maya
  • Dancing With Bees – An Exclusive Episode Of The Maya The BeeTV Series
  • Blooper Reel
  • Trailers

 Maya the Bee DVD contains the following bonus features:

  • A Interview With Maya
  • Dancing With Bees – An Exclusive Episode Of The Maya The BeeTV Series
  • Blooper Reel
  • Trailers

I really liked this film, and I think you will too. Look for Maya the Bee where most movies are sold.

I hope you will enjoy these FREE printable recipes. Simply click on the graphic to download the recipe collection.

Click Communications: BLOGGER BUTTONS &emdash;
In addition, here is the trailer for your entertainment.



*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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Shaun the Sheep Movie coming to theaters August 7, 2015



Are you a fan of the series Shaun the Sheep? I don’t know if it’s readily available in all markets. I can’t find the show on television where I live, but I do have several DVDs of the series.

According to Wikipedia;

Shaun the Sheep is a British stop-motion animated television series, a spin-off of the Wallace and Gromit franchise. The series stars Shaun, a sheep previously featured in the 1995 short film A Close Shave and in the Shopper 13 episode from the 2002 Wallace and Gromit’s Cracking Contraptions series, and his madcap adventures around a small farm as the leader of his flock. Having first aired in the UK on CBBC in March 2007 and broadcast in 180 countries globally, the series currently consists of 130 seven-minute episodes and is in its fourth volume.

There is no words spoken in the show (except for a few grunts, mumbles and barnyard sounds), yet it’s very funny. The facial expressions crack me up.

The characters are super adorable too.


It’s hard to believe that each character is made by hand and each movement is also done by hand. Stop-motion animation is how the classic holiday show, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, was made. Current stop-motion animated films include The Boxtrolls, Coraline and Frankenweenie.

I’m thrilled that a full length film, appropriatly called Shaun the Sheep Movie, is coming to theaters this summer (August 7, 2015).

When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for.  A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan, and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

Lionsgate presents a Studiocanal and Aardman Animations production.

The film was already released in the U.K.

Check out the film’s trailer.


I love it! I can’t wait to see it.

If you would like to keep up to date about the film, here is the official website and social media links.

Official Site: http://www.ShauntheSheepovie.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShaunTheSheepUS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShaunTheSheep

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ShaunTheSheepUS


Are you a fan of the series? Will you see the film when it comes to theaters?



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Strange Magic movie review, recipes, printables and more (giveaway ends 6/1/15)


StrangeMagicDVD copy

Now available on DVD and Digital HD is the musical adventure film, Strange Magic. The film is by George Lucas, the same man who brought us the Star Wars movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark and many, many more hit films.

George Lucas brings you the story of a music-filled fairy tale about finding love in the unlikeliest of places in Strange Magic on DVD, Digital HD/SD and On-Demand May 19th! This magical adventure features a host of colorful characters including a princess (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood) who has sworn off love, a dubious villain (voiced by Alan Cumming), a slightly nutty Sugar Plum Fairy (voiced by Kristin Chenoweth) and a knight who is no Prince Charming (voiced by Sam Palladio). Bonus features include a Musical Mash Up: Outtakes and more!

Strange Magic” is a music-filled fairy tale about finding true love in the unlikeliest of places. This magical adventure features a host of colorful characters including a princess who has sworn off love, a dubious villain, a slightly nutty Sugar Plum Fairy, a tenacious elf, a mischievous imp, and a knight who is no Prince Charming. Bring home the enchanting tale the whole family can enjoy today!

Honestly, I was very surprised that this was a George Lucas film. It seems a bit odd, but then again a lot of his movies are odd too.

The animation in this film is incredible. It’s so realistic looking. The trees, flowers and even woodland critters all look so real. I felt like I was really in a forest. Animation just keeps getting more and more amazing.


As far as the story goes, it was a bit predictable. It’s not that the story has been told before, but you could sort of guess what direction the story was going to go in from the beginning.

The film stars a fairy name Marianne who is excited to be marrying the handsome Roland. That is until she finds out that Roland has not been faithful to her. Marianne calls off the wedding and vows never to fall in love again, much to the dismay of her sister Dawn.

Roland is not happy about the wedding being called off. He was planning on becoming king because Marianne is royalty. He needs to marry her in order to get the crown.

In order to win her back he comes up with a plan. He tricks an elf named Sunny (who has a huge crush on Marianne’s sister, Dawn) to go into the dark forest and steal back a magical love potion that the Bog King has after he captured the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Will Sunny be able to retrieve the love potion? Will Roland succeed in securing the crown? Will Marianne ever fall in love again? To find out you need to pick up a copy of Strange Magic, now available where movies are sold.

As I mentioned, the animation was pretty cool. I didn’t really find many of the characters necessarily “likable.” They are not really cute. The Bog King is especially grosteque looking. But then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Strange Magic

If you are not a fan of musicals you will not like this movie at all. It was non-stop singing. I couldn’t even guess how many songs were sung in this film. Many of the songs were popular at one time or another.

The singing turned my husband off from the film. He said it was “overkill.” He lost interest after the first few songs. I kept on watching the film.

Aside from the characters not exactly cute, and the abundance of music, the film was OK. I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a “kiddie” film. After all, Roland was unfaithful to Marianne and was caught kissing another women… I mean fairy. Infidelity is not exactly a subject matter for little ones.

I have plenty of fun printables for you to download and enjoy with your family – even one that will help you host a Strange Magic party. Simply click on the images below.

Download Strange Magic Fun Games

Download Host A Strange Magic Party

Download Strange Magic Crafts & Snacks

If you would like to learn more about the film please visit StrangeMagicMovie.com. You can also check out the film on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube.

The official hashtag is #StrangeMagic.

Did you see the film? What did you think about it? Did you have a favorite character and/or song?

Here is the trailer for your enjoyment.


I also have a copy of the film for a lucky reader.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on June 1, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email 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 a copy of this film?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*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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FREE Disney’s Tomorrowland Activity Sheets



Opening in theaters nationwide this Friday (May 22, 2015) is the latest Disney film Tomorrowland.

From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as Tomorrowland. What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, Tomorrowland promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

The film also stars Hugh Laurie as brilliant scientist David Nix, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Robinson.

When I think about Tomorrowland I think about a trip to Disneyland when I was a young girl. One of the areas of the park was called Tomorrowland (if I recall correctly). I was surprised to hear that they created a film based on that. That got me thinking about other areas of the parks that could make great films.

Check out Tomorrowland’s trailer.


It looks good. Since my birthday is this coming weekend and it almost always rains on my birthday I usually go to the movies. Chances are I’ll be going to see Tomorrowland.

Tomorrowland is rated PG and has a run time of 130 minutes.

What do you think about the film? Will you go and see Tomorrowland?

If you would like to learn more about the film please visit the official website, www.Disney.com/Tomorrowland.

You can also check out the film on Facebook as well as follow DisneyPictures on Twitter.

In honor of the film’s release I have a few activity sheets for your enjoyment. Simply click on the image to pull up a larger version then save it or print it out.




These .PDF files (links below) contain ADDITIONAL FREE activity sheets for your enjoyment.

Tomorrowland Activity Sheets 1

Tomorrowland Activity Sheets 2

Tomorrowland Activity Sheets 3


*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Every mom deserves a night out – National Mom’s Nite Out 2015


Mom's Nite Out Logo

When I was younger (pre-married life) I used to have a very active social life. My friends and I were always getting together just hanging out or going on adventures. As we got older, married and started having children, we saw less and less of one another. It happens. It’s a part of life. I’m totally OK with that but there are times when it’s nice to hang out with friends and enjoy a good laugh, good food and catching up with one another.

Mom’s Nite Out is an event that was created years ago to help mom’s reconnect with friends, have fun and celebrate the one thing we all have in common – we’re moms.

Founded in 2008, National Mom’s Nite Out™ is the first nationally organized celebration of motherhood intended to bring together today’s moms, physically and virtually. Mom’s Nite Out unites over 10 million moms in social media groups, companies, local playgroups, mommy bloggers and mother social networks, giving them a well deserved night off. In 2014, three states officially declared the Thursday before Mother’s Day, National Mom’s Nite Out.

The evening consists of local events held across the country, as well as mom-organized parties and virtual activities. Allowing moms everywhere to join in on the fun, mothers are invited to throw their own Mom’s Nite Out event by downloading party ideas and elements from The National Mom’s Nite Out website. The night of the event moms join in on the fun through online chats and tweet-ups.

I hosted a Mom’s Nite Out on National Mom’s Nite Out day (May 5, 2015). I LOVE to host get togethers. I often go overboard and buy too much to eat and drink. I’m always worried that I’ll run out and not have enough.

I invited over a few local friends to our home to share an evening of good fun, good entertainment and good food. Sadly two mom’s couldn’t show up. One had to work unexpectedly and the other friend had a sick child (as moms we can all relate to that – our children come first). That is OK. There were still plenty of us to have a great time.

I received some goodies to help facilitate my party from BSM Media, Bicycle Playing Cards, My Printly and Entenmann’s, as well as the film Mom’s Night Out.

I was so focused on making sure I had plenty of stuff to eat or drink that I neglected to check my ink levels on my printer. My Printly sent us some great photo paper and other goodies. I wanted to take advantage of some fun printable, such as popcorn boxes, but I didn’t have enough ink. In hindsight I suppose I could have printed them out with black ink, but I didn’t think about that back then.

My Printly has so many cute printables. I really wanted to print them out to decorate my home and add more flair to my party. You can see the printables I wanted to print out here – Free Movie Party Printables for Mom’s Nite Out.

For the record I still need colored ink for my printer. My kids have been printing up a storm with my HP Envy 5660. They used up all my colored ink.

My Printly has A LOT of wonderful printables, cards and crafts, as well as ideas, to help inspire you. Check them out at MyPrintly.com.

My Printly sent me paper and treats which I put in goodie bags for my guests.



I’m sorry about the quality of pictures. I am taking them from my Instagram and Twitter feeds. I had posted on both accounts (as well as Facebook) that night. If you follow me on any (or all) of my social media channels you no doubt saw them.

My Printly also sent me some beautiful wine glasses and “puffy” paint to use to decorate the wine glasses with my guests. I had plenty of wine on hand too so that my guests could enjoy their glasses – not taking into consideration that the paint took a while to dry. It was also a Thursday night so my guests couldn’t stay that long either (most had work the next morning). I should have invited everyone over sooner to paint the glasses and then watch the film. Instead we had to do both at the same time which I think was a distraction.

None the less everyone had fun decorating them, including me.

Here are some of the glasses (some were still a work in progress when I took these photos) as well as the one I made for myself.

Glasses 1

Glasses 2

Bicycle Playing Cards sent some Cocktail Party cards for me to share with my guests. I put them in each of the goodie bags.

These are not only playing cards – they also feature a cocktail recipe that you can make and enjoy with your family and friends. What a fun idea! I grew up with Bicycle Cards (are there any other?). I never knew they offered different cards such as Cocktail Party Cards, Zombie, Civil War and other unique subjects.

Bicycle Cocktail Party Cards

BSM Media sent me some Mom’s Nite Out bags which I filled with the goodies from My Printly (printer paper and goodies), Bicycle Cocktail Party Cards and Entenmann’s Little Bites Chocolate Chip Muffins.


Filled Bags

Goodie Bags

I was going to use the Entenmann’s Little Bites Chocolate Chip Muffins as a treat for my guests, but I had purchased so much to eat that it was nicer to give them a box to take home to their families.

When I say I went overboard with the treats, I’m not kidding! I didn’t even take pictures of everything. I had popcorn, crackers and cheese as well as the yummy treats pictured below.


IMG_5367 d

IMG_5371 2



I had so much left over too. Not that my family didn’t mind. They were more than happy to assist me in getting rid of the left over food. Two of my friends took some home for me too.

I love the paper cups and plates that I found for the party. They were so cute and colorful. I’m glad I have some left.


The napkins were compliments of BSM Media.

While we enjoyed an evening of fun (painting wine glasses) and eating, we also watched the film appropriately named Mom’s Night Out.

The movie is really funny. Its about four moms who want to have just one night out for themselves without their husbands or children. It sounds easy enough – but it’s not. It’s one funny mishap after another including a missing baby, tattoo parlor, a snooty restaurant hostess and even jail time. This is one night out these ladies will never forget.


I reviewed the movie last year. Here is a snippet from that post.

Mom’s Night Out stars one of my favorite actresses, Patricia Heaton (The Middle), Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy), Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings triology) and country music superstar Trace Adkins.

Allyson (Sarah Drew) is a frazzled mother of three young children. She tries to be the best mother that she can be but she tends to get overwhelmed at times.

One night she breaks down and hides inside her closet. When her husband Sean comes home he joins her in the closet to comfort her. While in the closet Allyson notices a pair of high heel shoes that she loves and hasn’t had a chance to wear in years.

With her husband’s encouragement she decides that she wants to have a Mom’s Night Out with two of her friends – Sondra, the pastor’s wife and mother to a rebellious teenager, and Izzy, a mom who is expecting again and is afraid to let her husband know about the wonderful news.

The girls plan on getting dressed up and going out to eat at a fancy restaurant that they heard good things about. The plan had their husband’s getting together and taking care of the children for a few hours. After all, they kids are with their fathers, what could possibly go wrong?

Here is the film’s trailer for your entertainment.


It’s really cute and funny. There are some bonus features worth checking out too.

I can sort of relate. My Mom’s Nite Out party didn’t go as smoothly as I had planned (no ink, not enough time to paint and enjoy the wine glasses, too much food, people unable to attend…) but none the less we had a fantastic time and plan on doing something similar in the near future (ideally on a weekend evening – during the week is not easy for most of us due to work commitments).

As moms our family is our #1 priority, but that doesn’t mean for one moment that we can get out and enjoy ourselves from time to time either. It’s nice to have fun and reconnect with friends where the topic of conversation is not always about our husbands or children.

For more information about Mom’s Nite Out visit www.MomsNiteOut.com. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

A special thank you to the event sponsors. Please take the time to check out their websites and look for them on social media.


Bicycle Playing Cards

My Printly

Have you ever participated, or hosted, a Mom’s Nite Out party? Feel free to share your experiences.

How often do you get out and enjoy a mom’s night out?



*I have partnered with BSM Media and Mom’s Nite Out to host this event. There was no compensation but I did receive free goodies to help me create an awesome party experience. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Family is what you make of it


Mixed Family

Families are not the way they used to be. Back in the day you had a dad, mom and a couple of kids. These days families come in all different configurations. Some families have two moms, or two dads. Some families have more kids then you can count (hello Duggar family). There are some families with just one child, and even families made up entirely of foster children. Single parts. Grandparents raising grandchildren… there is no such thing as a traditional family anymore. I’m OK with that. I like diversity.

My family situation is different than others. I was raised by my paternal grandparents. They are my mom and dad. They always have been. I was also raised along side my biological father. My aunt and uncle were essentially my sister and brother.

Sound confusing? It was. And I guess for some people it’s still a confusing set up. I don’t see it that way. I was blessed to have a mom and dad who loved and cared about me a lot. And I was raised with my father who also loves and cares about me a lot. In fact my husband and father are the best of friends. Usually people complain about the in-laws but my husband adores my father and stepmother, and the feeling is mutual.

I like that the media is embracing the fact that many families these days are unique. Take for example the ABC Family show Baby Daddy where a young baby is cared for by her father and her father’s friends. Another example would be Full House where a man and his children share a house with his best friends who also help to raise his girls.

It’s not often you’ll find families like The Cleavers. Today’s modern families are a hodge podge of different configurations. You can even toss cousins, aunts, uncles and pets into the mix because some families include extended family members too.

Grace and Frankie

There is a new original comedy airing on Netflix about a new kind of blended family. It stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. The show is called Grace and Frankie. The show also features Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston.

When Grace and Frankie’s husbands leave them after 20 years of marriage—to be with each other—the women find themselves facing a change that they never expected, but they shift their perspective to get through it together with the support of their new blended family and, of course, a sense of humor.

I haven’t had the opportunity to watch the show yet. I think I’ll “binge watch” it this weekend. I’ve seen a preview for the show and it looks really funny. I’m looking forward to watching it. I don’t think it’s a “women’s show” either. It looks like something my husband would enjoy too.

Netflix has a lot of available content that explores families and just how diverse they can be. Below are some fabulous examples.

Little Kids

1. Lily’s Driftwood Bay
2. The Tigger Movie
3. Guess How Much I Love You: S1E5 Big Like You
4. Angelina Ballerina: Superstar Sisters

Big Kids

1. Crash & Bernstein
2. Life with Boys
3. Spy Kids
4. Russell Madness (Available 5/10)

Teens Adults

1. Raising Hope
2. The Fosters
3. Gilmore Girls
4. Life Unexpected

I’ve never seen The Fosters but I hear it’s a really good show. I’m going to see if I can start watching it on Netflix too.

Netflix has some new programming coming on the horizon too in case you were interested. I’m looking forward to Puss in Boots and King Julien.

New on Netflix

1. All Hail King Julien (new episodes 4/3)
2. Littlest Pet Shop: Season 3 (4/21)
3. Lalaloopsy: Festival of Sugary Sweets (5/2)
4. Puss in Boots (new episodes 5/8)
5. H20 Mermaid Adventures (5/22)
6. Richie Rich: Season 2 (5/22)
7. Mako Mermaids: Season 3 (5/29)

Each and every family is unique. Even if you have a more traditional family I am sure that there is something special and unique about YOUR family.

Tell me about your family. Is your family more along the lines of a traditional family or do you have a more modern family, like my family arrangement? Feel free to share your stories. I always love to hear from my readers.

To see what other great programming is available on Netflix visit Netflix.com. You can also find them on social media.



*I was not compensated for this post. I am part of Netflix’s ambassador program. I received free membership and an Apple TV in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted.

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