Category Archives: Video

The Secret World of Arrietty opens Friday

I’m looking forward to the newest creation from legendary Studio Ghibli (Ponyo). I’ve always been a fan of beautifully crafted animations since my days as a game development producer and anything Disney is bound to be a great story.

Residing quietly beneath the floorboards are little people who live undetected in a secret world to be discovered, where the smallest may stand tallest of all.  This is an animated adventure based on Mary Norton’s acclaimed children’s book series “The Borrowers.”

Arrietty (voice of Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (voices of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (voice of Carol Burnett). Like all little people, Arrietty (AIR-ee-ett-ee) remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to “borrow” scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But when 12-year-old Shawn (voice of David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and straight into danger. The English language version of “The Secret World of Arrietty” was executive produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, and directed by Gary Rydstrom.

The film hits theaters this Friday February 17, 2012.

Cast Members: Amy Poehler, Bridgit Mendler and Carol Burnett in Los Angeles to promote the film.

Cast Members: Amy Poehler, Bridgit Mendler and Carol Burnett in Los Angeles to promote the film.

Roma Downey lights up New York with Little Angels

Little Angels Executive Producer Roma Downey

Roma Downey spent 10 years coming into our living room’s as Tess’ angel in Touched by an Angel. Now, she is behind the camera as Executive Producer of her newest venture “Little Angels”. As I mentioned last week, she is launching 3 interactive DVDs on Valentine’s Day. Today I had the honor of meeting her in an intimate blogger Q&A with my two monkeys at the Four Season’s Hotel in midtown Manhattan.

Roma talked us through her inspiration to create this brand as well as a look ahead to the future for Little Angels. In a nutshell, twin brother and sister Alex and Zoe are the central characters of the DVDs, books, iPhone app and toys to come soon. They have 8 very different angels that live on their ceilings and help them to be more understanding, love and helpful children. The little angels only come to life to give advice when the parents are not around. The voice of the mother is done by Roma herself, allowing her to have a small part in the actual animations. She mentioned that her son and daughter also did voice work and guitar on the very catchy theme song. You could truly feel that this project has been a labor of love for Roma, and her enthusiasm on the eve of its launch was infectious.

When asked how she manages life as philanthropist, wife and mother, she equated it all to a juggling act. She admitted that sometimes she drops the ball, but she just picks up the balls and keeps going again. Testament to all the plans she has coming up for the Little Angels brands plus a project in the works with husband Mark Burnett to bring The Bible to television.

I asked her about her input in the character development of the very distinct Angel characters. You can hear her response in the video below.

Roma is on Twitter and can be followed at @RealRomaDowney (someone had already taken @RomaDowney!) for inspirational quotes, positive sayings and prayers.

You can find out more about Little Angels and sign up for updates on the Official Website or follow Little Angels on Facebook for the most up to date info.

God in Heaven, my Savior dear Watch over my children and draw thou near Send your little angels to be at their side To light and to guard to love and to guide.

– Inspiration for Little Angel, a prayer Roma’s mother used to say every night

How to Read Organic Labels

I’ve mentioned organic food before as an easy way we can all try to eat healthy. This video was prompted by a conversation I overhead with 2 female friends at the grocery store. They were looking at the organic chips and biscuits. One was picking up boxes of goodies and throwing them into the cart without a second glance at the ingredients, the second friend was questioning her choice in ‘organic’ product. Anyways, it was a good discussion on natural vs organic and the different levels of organic that we can find in our food.

I hope this video helps you think and not take the word ‘organic’ at face value when shopping. Make sure to read the ingredients as well. And as for the word ‘natural’, it most definitely does not equal ‘organic’.

What organic foods, if any do you try to add to your grocery list?

Cool Tip for Mamas

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to come back on Friday, February 17 when I will be giving away a Horizon Dairy pack (estimated value $50) as part of the Baby Birthday Bash. The Grand Prize for the Giveaway Event will also include a $200 Family Getaway!

12 Days of Valentine’s – Eat Yourself Happy (part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of 12 Days of Valentine’s – Eat Yourself Happy! Chocolate, glorious chocoalate! Where would we be without you? Probably a few pounds lighter I’d say. I am a MASSIVE fan of chocolate. I can’t have the stuff in the house or else it all has to be eaten, all at once. I grew up loving milk chocolate but have recently really began to understand the benefits of dark chocolate and furthermore raw 100% cacao.

If you indulge moderately in 100% raw cacao you will feel satisfied without it going to your hips, plus their are so many health benefits. Watch the video to find out more. If you missed part 1 on how to eat yourself happy, check it out here.

12 Days of Valentine’s – Treat Yourself to Music

Day 5 of the 12 Days of Valentine’s – Love Yourself! is all about music. I remember feeling isolated with my first born. I think I was used to being at home for 2 days at a time without going anywhere. Before that, I worked for myself and was always on the go. If I wasn’t at the office, I was doing yoga, or running down by the beach. Suddenly with the birth of Monkey #1, I was spending days alone at home. Sure my husband was coming home from work every evening, but never had I spent entire days by myself. The silence was deafening. It takes a bit of getting used to, talking to this small human that doesn’t respond, that doesn’t even smile for the first 6 weeks at least. My boy was 4 weeks early, so he pretty much slept the first 4 weeks of his life – as if he was still in the womb. I stared into his eyes when he was awake, talked baby talk and waited for any kind of response. I didn’t have nearly the social life that some of my friends did before children (thanks to being self-employed) but still I used to come and go as I wanted and this new way of being, without any feedback sometimes made the days long.

That is how I discovered music and specifically dancing to music as a way to pass the time, connect with my baby and produce feel good hormones. To this date, Monkey #1 is still very musical and we still dance together. Researchers have said that playing music for young babies stimulates the brain. So you see, music is a double whammy, heightening your feel good hormones and nurtures your baby. Music is a building block to baby’s speech development.

And don’t be afraid to play whatever you normally play – music is music, a melody is a melody. Some people swear that you have to play the classics like Mozart. I say, as long as you and baby are moving and the music is not too loud for baby’s ears, then you are onto something good. Of course their is a theory that beyond stimulating the brain, the tempo of Mozart creates emotion as well.

Does music play a part in your family’s life?

#DReade Wherever You Are, Duane Reade is there

Duane Reade is running a competition asking New York bloggers why they love Duane Reade and why they should be chosen to be 1 of their 10 VIP Bloggers for 2012.  I’m a New Yorker, I love Duane Reade, and I’m up to the challenge, so here goes.

I grew up in Montreal, only a short 6 hour drive from New York. My family used to drive to New York to indulge in the city’s vibrant culture and the shopping steals and deals. I still remember arriving in the city and wherever we were staying we would find a Duane Reade and scout out the bargains. My sister, mother and I always stocked up on this one color of pantyhose that we could only find at Duane Reade – a chocolatey shimmery shade called Taupe.

Fast forward a decade later and the love affair continues as I have relocated to New York via an eight year stint in New Zealand. So far I have lived in the Upper West Side and Brooklyn, been pregnant, had a baby and started a toddler in pre-kindergarten. All I can say is that Duane Reade has been part of all of these milestones  – and for that, I LOVE YOU DR! Duane Reade has been along for the ride at so many important and different stages of my life.

Solely by browsing the aisles of Duane Reade, I managed to pack my hospital bag for the impending arrival of my baby girl – energy drinks for dad, toiletries, makeup and healthy treats for me in the delivery room. My husband has picked up beer on his way home, happy to have a 24 hr Duane Reade both close to his work and our house.

As a busy mama, I appreciate being able to pick up diapers, snacks for entertaining, phone cards to top up my iPhone, soaps, lotions and makeup to pamper myself as well as all the cardboard, crayons and pencils my wee toddler needs. Duane Reade is like my fashionable older sister, know-it-all best friend and sensible mother all rolled into one – offering me the best in healthy and glamourous living on a sensible budget.

If you live in New York, you already know that Duane Reade is part of our culture, part of our fabric. Duane Reade is so much more than a drugstore. Duane Reade has New York’s back, keeping New Yorkers fed, happy, healthy and glammed out.

Everywhere I am, Duane Reade is there, making it the perfect partner on my journey to discovering more of New York. My enthusiasm and genuine love of this city makes me an ideal candidate to convey Duane Reade’s message to the people of New York. The same  energy I put into experiencing this city, is the same energy I would put in as a Duane Reade VIP Blogger.

I hope you feel that I am a more than worthy choice as your 2012 VIP Blogger.

Duane Reade Williamsburg

Duane Reade Williamsburg


Disclosure: This is my entry to the 2012 Duane Reade VIP Influencer Contest. You can tell Duane Reade why you love them  for your chance at being a 2012 VIP Blogger.