Monday, August 31, 2015

Khan Academy Launches Pixar in a Box & Gives Students a Behind-the-scenes look at Pixar Animation Studios’ Based on S.T.E.A.M Concepts


Just as our Lil' Monsters are making their way back into the classroom, so begins the brainstorming on how to keep students engaged in learning not only in the classroom but at home as well. Pixar in a Box - a new online resource that explores the academic concepts behind Pixar Animation Studios’ creative process -went live on just last week. Kids of all ages are huge fans and love Pixar and the animation process is so fascinating, why not show children how they could be an animator just like the creators of their favorite movies like Big Hero 6, Brave and Up while they incorporate math and science skills?

Through a series of video lessons, interactive exercises, and hands-on activities, students will discover how the academic concepts they learn in school enable Pixar filmmakers to create new worlds, animate unique characters and tell stories through animation. Although designed especially for students in middle and high school, these resources are available to learners of all ages, completely free of charge.

“Our mission at Khan Academy is a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere,” said Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of the not-for-profit Khan Academy. “Sparking student interest in math and other academic fields is a key part of that, and we’re delighted to collaborate with Pixar to achieve this goal. Pixar in a Box gives students a new way to engage with key academic concepts and see how creative these concepts can be.”

"Learning makes us beginners again,” said Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.  “In my experience, creativity involves missteps and imperfections, which is one more reason it is important for every one of us to keep learning - in order to remain flexible and keep our brains nimble.   By working with Khan Academy on Pixar in a Box, we hope to encourage the excitement of learning and creative thinking for middle and high school students and to provide the tools to do it.”

7th and 8th graders explore how the operations of translation, rotation and scaling are used to position objects.

“For years, we’ve heard from teachers at every grade level interested in creating animation-based curricula,” said Elyse Klaidman, Director, Pixar University and Archives.  “We’ve wanted to provide free online resources for them, and Pixar in a Box makes that dream a reality. We hope that it not only gives students a behind-the-scenes look at how our movies are made but also gets them excited about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) concepts.”

“Many students start to lose interest in academics in middle and high school, partly because they don’t see how academic concepts relate to things they care about,” said DeRose. Don't you remember being in school and as you got older, questioning why on earth you needed to learn Physics or in my case, industrial design at an Engineering based high school, you couldn't relate it to things you were really interested in, but knew you had to take the course to graduate?

“Pixar in a Box aims to address this disconnect by showing how Pixar filmmakers use these concepts for creative benefit in their everyday work.”

Starting today, students can access Pixar in a Box and learn:
·       How combinatorics are used to create crowds, like the swarm of robots in WALLŸE.
·       How parabolas are used to model environments, like the forest in Brave.
·       How weighted averages are used to create characters, like Buzz Lightyear and                 Woody.
·       How linear and cubic interpolation are used to animate characters.
·       How trigonometry is used to create the worlds in which Pixar stories take place.
·       How simultaneous equations are used to paint all of Pixar’s images.

“These lessons are the first phase of the project,” said Cruise. “While the first year focuses on math, future Pixar in a Box lessons will explore science, computer science, arts, and humanities.” 

All Pixar in a Box resources are available free of charge at The site will be updated as additional lessons become available.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Get Back to School Ready w/ Entenmann's Litlte Bites and Sara Lee #GIVEAWAY

Back to School Giveaway

Back to school season is in full swing around the country with just places around the country trickling back into the classroom soon after labor day.  Let's admit it, It's tough getting back into the swing of routine after 2 months of leisure and with only 2 weeks to go I'll be honest, I'm beyond dreading those early mornings! To be fair I always start of with the best intentions to have clothes set out, lunches/ snacks and backpacks ready to go the night before but sometimes that doesn't work out and by November those goals have either stuck or fell to the waste side. Thank the heavens for Entenmann's Lite Bites and Sara Lee's because they are a quick and simple go to snack option that my boys love to bring to school and we keep them in a snack cabinet that's easy for my 4 year old to access so he loves that he can help pack his lunch all by himself and for me the best part is I can always catch Entenmann's Little Bite and Sara Lee snacks on sale at Target! #WINNING
                                        Back to school giveaway

Kathleen Robbins, head baker at Sara Lee Snacks, Entenmann’s Little Bites and a full time mom, shares how her family gets through the mornings with some tips and DIY homework helpers, the fun Little Bites Party Cakes Caterpillars and exciting Sara Lee Brownie Chocolate Chip Snack Kabobs here!  

In addition, both Sara Lee Snacks and Entenmann’s Little Bites have created a five-day planner that will make those on-the-go mornings a breeze. “The Lunch Box #KidzStyle” five- day snack planner was designed so kids can choose which snacks they want in their lunch box for the week, encouraging well balanced meals and some fun treats! It also lets mom and dad plan ahead when grocery shopping and getting ready for the morning madness. Giving the kids the responsibility of choosing from a variety of options makes their lunchtime more fun and parents’ mornings a little easier!

Macintosh HD:Users:cturner:Desktop:Sara Lee Snack Kabobs.jpg

Sara Lee, the iconic American brand, delivers a new way to snack with fresh baked, individually wrapped snack cakes, perfect for the lunch box. Now you can take along the quality and heritage of the Sara Lee brand wherever you go with Brownie Chocolate Chip Cakes. The Sara Lee Brownie Chocolate Chip Cakes are filled with a double batter mix of brownies and the classic favorite chocolate chips.

Entenmann’s Little Bites has been making people smile for the last 15 years. These pre-portioned bite sized muffins and brownies are perfect for a lunchtime snack.  NEW Little Bites Party Cakes bring the party wherever they go. These golden mini cakes are chock full of rainbow sprinkles, and the perfect delicious fun treat.  Where there are Little Bites Party Cakes, there’s always a party! #GoodToGo. Little Bites is also hosting a “ Life of the Lunchbox” sweepstakes from August 1st through September 25th on the Little Bites Facebook Page.

      Back to School Giveaway

And as a treat for our readers and your Lil' Monsters we have teamed up with Entenmann's, Sara Lee and a host of fantastic NYC Parenting/ Lifestyle Bloggers to offer 1 Winner an Amazing Back to School prize package that includes all the sponsors in the image pictured at the top of the page along with the ABC'S of Back to School treats pictured below. Entrants must be 18 years+, giveaway ends on Wednesday 9/2/15. 
Enter the Rafflecopter below.

Disclosure: The opinions expressed are 100% my own, I received an ABC's of Back to School prize package and no other compensation was received.


2 boxes of Sara Lee Brownie Chocolate Chip Cakes
2 boxes of Entenmann’s  Little Bites Party Cakes
Sara Lee Coupons valued at $4
Entenmann’s Coupons valued at $3
1Sara Lee water bottle and 1 Little Bites pencil case
I shampoo kit from Vamouse
$25 gift card from Lakeshore
Portable desk from Staples
1 Months Supply Of Honey Bunches Of Oats Breakfast Biscuits
1 Uniform Outfit from French Toast
Workbooks and cards from School Zone
1 Shampoo, 1 conditioner, 1 Bubble bath and tangle free spray from Johnson’s Baby
PBS KIDS Color Block Backpack
2 Fab Kids Outfit Credits

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 10, 2015 and WWE Get Kids to Take on Bullying as They Head Back to School for 2nd Year

Bullying in Schools

With many parents already sending their kids back to school & the rest of us counting down these last few weeks, there are so many things for both mom/dad and the kids to think about: from back to school shopping to making new friends and just getting back into that daily routine. One issue that seems to be more prevalent within school communities is bullying, with almost 1 in 4 students reporting being bullied at school., one of the largest global organizations for young people and social change, and global entertainment company WWE and its Be a STAR anti-bullying initiative, are teaming up for The Bully Text: Superstar Edition. The campaign, now in its second year, gets young people to take action around bullying by playing an SMS text message game. 1T

 Throughout the month of August, young people can virtually work their way through six levels of scenarios with guidance from WWE Superstars and Divas, including Roman Reigns®, Dean Ambrose®, Paige®, Natalya® and Alicia Fox®. Then, each player is given options to stand up and speak out against bullying. For example, “You sit behind Roman. Someone in the back of the bus keeps throwing paper airplanes at him. Do you A) Play it cool- it's not your fight or B) play Superman?” Along the way, players will see how their anti-bullying skills compare to others, and ultimately whether they’ve earned the WWE World Heavyweight Championship title in bullying prevention. Every player will also receive the chance to win a Be a STAR rally at his or her school or community center.

Bullying in Schools

"WWE's massive reach and stellar talent have helped activate thousands of young people around anti-bullying," said Naomi Hirabayashi, chief marketing officer at "We're excited to rally WWE fans around this issue for year two to make it bigger and better than ever!" 

“We are proud to once again partner with and provide thousands with resources to help put an end to bullying in their communities,” said Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer. “Utilizing our global assets and larger than life WWE Superstars and Divas, we are confident that this campaign will help educate young people on the dangers of bullying and encourage them to stand up for themselves and others.”

In 2014, nearly 100,000 young people played the Bully Text game. To play Bully Text this year, text BULLY to 38383 or visit*.

Disclosure: As a WWE Mom Ambassador I help to spread the word about upcoming events, product launches, campaign etc. No compensation was received for sharing this post and any opinions expressed are always 100% my own.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Snacks for Lil' Monsters: 9 Popsicle Recipes to Celebrate National Watermelon Day

No summer is complete without a few moments of indulgence, while enjoying juicy, sweet watermelon. When the weather becomes unbearable we usually grab a few Popsicles to cool off, well the boys may actually treat themselves to two. In honor of National Watermelon Day we've rounded up a few Popsicle recipes we spotted on the web to keep you and the lil' monsters cool through the rest of Summer. 

Strawberry and Watermelon Popsicles spotted on Pick Fresh Foods make for a perfectly healthy solution to beating the heat.

How could a popsicle that looks as delicious as these Ginger Hibiscus and Minty Watermelon ones posted by Half Baked Harvest be resisted? Their deep, rich color make them seem too beautiful to eat.

Creamy 2 Ingredient Popsicles super easy to make just freeze yoplait & watermelon chunks.

Stripes of watermelon, coconut milk, kiwi & chocolate chips make for fun watermelon pops.

Berry Lemonade popsicle with a watermelon puree.

Watermelon Paletas from Muy Delish 

Delish Watermelon and Kiwi pops, I love that how beautiful the slices look.

National Watermelon Day may only be once a year but these recipes can be enjoyed all summer long! Which ones are you planning on making?


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