.@TeddyOutReady: September 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Path From Pawn To Queen Or How Chess Changed Girl's Life in New Disney Release Queen of Katwe

Queen Of Katwe

Queen of Katwe, the recent Disney movie release premiered this September at The Toronto International Film Festival and was given lots of positive feedback. We had a chance to join the advance screening of the movie and enjoy the story. Queen of Katwe follows Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan girl living in slum of Katwe, who learns to play chess before she knows how to read and write. Phiona does not go to school and spends her days helping her mother (played by Lupita Nyong'o ) sell some food on the market. Being naturally curious the girl soon attends chess club offered by Robert Katende, the man who volunteers his time to teach kids this board game. Phiona is very impressed with the game and feel encouraged. She realizes that in chess the results depend on you, as her peer says you can become a Queen if you want. While Phiona is determined to learn more and put all her passion into the chess, her mom wants to protect her daughter against dangers of the world. There are not many opportunities for girls living in poor neighborhood and Phiona’s mother wants to keep her kids safe.

After a while Phiona Mutesi under Robert Katende’s guidance starts participating in chess tournaments and shows that her talent can take her quite far. But the girl's chess journey is not all smooth and easy. Winning and knowing you are one of the best can spoil your attitude towards moving on and practicing. Phiona starts complaining that she does not have a computer, fancy outfit and styles like other chess competitors. She forgets for a while how she was determined to be a chess player practicing at night using bottle caps and working during the day. Chess itself is a good teacher so Phiona starts again participating in competitions. She learns how to read thanks to Robert Katende’s wife who is a teacher at school and finally able to learn from the famous grandmasters like Kasparov via books and tutorials. And the most amazing thing is to see how Phiona’s mother changes and sees that her daughter has great opportunities to be out of slums as one day she says: “My daughter is not going to sit here.” Phiona Mutesi participates in various chess competitions in Uganda and international ones including the one in Russia's Khanty-Mansiysk in 2010 . It was not all wins as Phiona lost to Canadian chess player in that tournament but still continued to fight.

Queen Of Katwe Disney

Since the story Queen of Katwe is based on real circumstances, it is great to see that Phiona is now the chess champion in Uganda and inspiration for new generation of children who wants to pursue their life dreams. Now Queen of Katwe is going to study at the university and prepare to be a chess grandmaster.

We really liked the movie, may be because it shows real life or real people. Lupita Nyong'o was so good playing strong, loving and pretty Phiona’s mother that I think she can get her second Oscar.

The movie is releasing today, September 30, and playing in theatres across Canada.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Advance Screening Passes Giveaway (7 Canadian Cities)

Middle School, what I can tell, it was great time when I realize that I can be independent in life and the school does teach everything. My teachers were amazing supporting me in every step and bad too hating me for just being who I was. I saw what they taught did not work and they did not know many things. My class mates were diverse and funny, some of them really brilliant minds to follow. We had fun years in Middle School, I cannot say they were bad but I do not feel any strong urge to meet my classmates, teachers or visit the school. Nevertheless, when I first saw Middle School movie trailer, I really wanted to see that movie. The movie is coming out on Friday, October 7.

Middle School Movie

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life chronicles the trials and triumphs of Rafe Khatchadorian, as he uses his wits to battle bullies, hormones and the tyrannical, test-obsessed Principal Dwight. Rafe has an epic imagination...and a slight problem with authority. Both collide when he transfers to an oppressive, rule-crazy middle school. Drowning in do's and don'ts, Rafe and his scheming best friend Leo hatch a plan to break every rule in the school's Code of Conduct.

It's Ferris Bueller meets Home Alone as their battle with Principal Dwight explodes into chaos both real and imagined. But Dwight displays his own fiendish creativity, striking back at the rulebreakers. Meanwhile, Rafe struggles to hide his misbehavior from Jeanne, the straight-A, overachieving girl of his dreams, and at home, his mother's boyfriend - a moochy, jack-of-no-trades named Bear - threatens to become his stepfather.

Rafe's revolution leaps from the page to the screen in this ambitious live-action/animated comedy based on the New York Times bestseller “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life” by legendary novelist James Patterson.

To celebrate the release and take it easy, there are nine more months in Middle School, we are giving away passes to advance screening of  Middle School movie, taking place October 5 at 7pm in the following Canadian cities thanks to Entertainment One Films:

Scotiabank Toronto - 259 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3M6

Scotiabank Vancouver - 900 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 3G5

Chinook - 6455 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary, AB T2H 0K4

South Edmonton - 1525 99 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6N 1K5

Scotiabank Ottawa - 2385 City Park Dr, Gloucester, ON K1J 1G1

Dartmouth Crossing - 145 Shubie Drive, Dartmouth, NS B3B 0C3

McGillivray - 2190 McGillivray Blvd, Winnipeg, MB R3Y 1S6

The giveaway ends October 2, 2016 and is open to Canadian residents who can attend the select screenings.

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Learn About Magic Number in New Sesame Street: Monster Magic DVD Giveaway US

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment always brings interesting releases so that kids learn and have fun at the same time. Everyone’s favorite furry characters are back at it again! Elmo and his friends discover the magic of numbers in their newest educational adventure, Sesame Street: Monster Magic. This special has fun brewing on Sesame Street and Elmo, Rosita, Abby are exploring their magical talents, while learning a thing or two along the way. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Sesame Workshop, the non-profit, educational organization whose mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder, will release Sesame Street: Monster Magic on DVD October 4, 2016.

Monster Magic

Sometimes magic doesn't turn out like you think it will, but through fun mishaps, it can help kids learn about critical thinking, problem solving and task persistence. In Sesame Street: Monster Magic Abby, Rosita, and Zoe celebrate the amazing number 7 by conjuring up “The Dance of the 7 Chickens,” some spell-binding tricks, and even 7 Elmos! Then, Abby poofs Leela into the perfect party outfit with a magical game of dress-up. Along with their Sesame friends, kids can also learn about numbers, counting, emotions, friendship and using your imagination. Fans can also enjoy some spectacular bonus features including a Claymation titled “Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures: Magicians,” a printable “Elmo’s Magic Mix-up” storybook, and the Amazing Mumford Rabbit Trick clip. Plus, fans won’t want to miss Grammy-Award nominated singer songwriter, Sara Bareilles’ rendition of “Just Like Magic.” The special provides more than two hours of fun with everyone’s favorite furry red monster and his friends!

Warner Bros. is excited to be releasing Sesame Street: Monster Magic as the newest addition to the Sesame Street collection. Children will become enthralled by the magic tricks that Elmo and his friends have lined up, it’s a fantastic teaching tool and makes learning that much more exciting, especially when it made in a form of games and activities.

Now in its 46th season, Sesame Street is the longest-running program in children’s television and the number one top-of-mind preschool show with moms. Sesame Street also has the highest "co-viewing" experience - meaning adults watching with kids - of any preschool show.

For our US readers we are happy to giveaway three copies of Sesame Street: Monster Magic thanks to generosity of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The giveaway ends October 15 and open to US residents only. Good Luck!

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Queen of Katwe Advance Screening #Toronto Flash Giveaway

Queen of Katwe is the colourful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. Directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler based on the book by Tim Crothers.

Queen-Katwe Disney

For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet, is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende, a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated. Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and Katende hopes to empower youth with the game.

Phiona is impressed by the intelligence and wit the game requires and immediately shows potential. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not wanting to see her daughter disappointed. As Phiona begins to succeed in local chess competitions, Katende teaches her to read and write in order to pursue schooling. She quickly advances through the ranks in tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life. Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential, escape a life of poverty and save her family.

Disney’s "Queen of Katwe" will open in theatres on September 23, 2016 (limited), and on September 30, 2016 (wide).

We have very short time giveaway. Enter to win one family pass to see inspiring Queen of Katwe in Toronto on September 21.

Wednesday September 21, 2016
 Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas

The giveaway is open to Canadian residents who can attend the select screening and ends on Monday, September 19, 2016.

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Easy Way To Save Money With Groupon

*This is a sponsored post brought to you by Groupon. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. 

Groupon Coupon

Big family needs require lots of planning and preparations. To make sure our spending does not go out of control, we have to find ways to save money on almost everything. Grocery, seasonal shopping, clothes and shoes, new items for kids as their pants and jackets already short and tight; new gear for hockey games, dance outfit for the recital, music scores, new support stick for grandfather, glasses, hearing aid and more. The list can be endless adding constantly growing prices for almost everything we shop for.

 photo Groupon Coupon Grocery_zpsfch6viie.jpg

There are different ways to save money from chasing the deals to loyalty programs. Couponing is one of the most popular to get discounts on items you buy. I like that Groupon offers coupons save at multiple retailers. From clothes, make up and skincare to web hosting and prints, there is something for everyone to check. You can use coupons on-line or take them to the store. Besides discounts we can get free shipping codes to our favorite stores on-line. With planning and using coupons we can get quality items at the discounted price using Groupon Coupon, take a look and check the site often, as coupons expire after a period of time. Certain items like holiday decor, gifts, clothes, gear and other products we can buy in advance when coupons shows up on Groupon.

We regularly buy from The Body Shop Canada, Foot Locker and WalMart Canada so I like when you can save more on items I buy using Groupon Coupons.

The time of festive parties, nice presents and lovely decorations is fast approaching, do not let it end up in overspending. Use coupons and save, it is easy as it sounds!

Groupon Coupon Teddy
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Friday, September 16, 2016

Back to School & Adjusting to Seasonal Changes with CeraVe Canada & Cold-FX

CeraVe Back To School

Moving into the fall season is probably one of the busiest time of the year with the beginning of new school year, upcoming holidays and weather changes. Cooler temps and shorter days affect our mood and body. Adjusting the diet according to the season, thanks fall offers an abundance of choices, and more sleep help to dive into the fall season. Seasonal changes also make significant impact on our skin when colder temperature and humidity levels affect skin’s natural balance. The skin is easily irritated and needs more protection and care.


To help us make transition more smoothly from the summer season and give our skin clean and healthy look, CeraVe® offers a line of skin care products to repair and strengthen the skin barrier. Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe® makes quality skincare products for face and body. Besides being designed for any type of the skin, CeraVe® products are suitable for people with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis. During fall these conditions tend to get worse, so CeraVe skincare intended to repair, replenish and protect the skin barrier. Technically speaking, CeraVe products gives the skin materials to build strong, healthy and protective skin barrier.

CeraVe Brands

In August we had a chance to learn more about CeraVe products during Back To School event. CeraVe® product line is constantly growing and gains popularity for their quality & effectiveness. The company makes special skincare products for babies CeraVe® Bébé, developed for delicate baby skin in collaboration with pediatric professional dermatologists. Another great CeraVe® line AcneFree offers special acne treatments for skin, perfect for teenagers and adults too. All CeraVe® brands follow the company philosophy in creating effective skin care with key components to protect the skin barrier. CeraVe® products are non- irritating, non-comedogenic and fragrance-free. They are also very affordable, available at major Canadian retailers.

CreaVe BeBe

I tried some CeraVe® products and have to tell that they are really good. Here they are:
  • Foaming Facial Cleanser effectively cleans, balances and replenishes the skin in one easy step. I like that my skin does not feel dry after using it. The best thing the cleanser can be used for any skin type and men, women, seniors or teens. It is soft enough not to irritate the skin. 
  •  Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM perfect for night use, makes the skin soft and healthy in the morning. CeraVe® PM offers the benefits of unique, patented MVE® delivery technology, which provides a controlled release of skin-nourishing ingredients slowly over time. Even during the day CeraVe’s night application still moisturizes the skin throughout the day. 
  •  Love CeraVe® Eye Repair Cream, it makes my under eye skin soft and smooth. The cream claims to reduce the look of dark circles and puffiness. It moisturizes the delicate under eye area, during cold and windy days the cream is the absolute saver. 
  • CeraVe® Moisturizing Cream provides all-day moisturization with a single application. It come in a pretty big jar and can be applied over the body. I like it does not leave any stains and residue, softens and hydrates the skin. Even babies and seniors can use this cream for dry or irritated skin areas.
  • Last one is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar which I gave our family members to try only getting positive feedback after using it. It makes skin hydrated and soft.
Cold FX

While we got lots of great product for our skincare arsenal, we also need to remember that flue and cold season is fast approaching. While flu shots and sanitizers definitely are essential, Cold-FX insists that we should focus on strengthening our immune system few weeks before the cold season starts. At the Back To School event, the company introduced new product Cold-FX Chewable designed to boost the Immune System during cold and flu. Coming in two flavours, Orange & Grape, it is suggested that we should start taking chewable tablets in September so that when cold weather hits the country, we are ready to beat flu and cold, reduce sick time.

I wish you a smooth transition from summer to fall, there are lots of amazing days ahead, holidays and family gatherings. I hope you find some of these products essential for yourself to help you enjoy fall season, look fantastic and do not catch any cold or flu!
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Save on Men's Fashion With Groupon

*This is a sponsored post brought to you by Groupon. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. 
 photo Groupon Mens Fashion_zpsvxnrlsmu.jpg

Men love looking stylish even though they do not admit that. Since they are pickier with their choices, shopping for them sometimes is easy because it can be done without them and hard because they hardly change their shopping preferences. They know exactly which brands they like and provide exact numbers and names of clothes or items they would love to get. Men’s fashion offer an abundance of choices so that men look stylish not only at work or during special event but also when fishing, camping, skating, exploring outdoors, babysitting kids, exercising and cooking.

We have lots of men in our family and they do want to look stylish everywhere. Even young kids pick up from grownups and follow the example. It becomes trickier when we need a new pair of sneakers but boy’s feet do not fit in their favorite ones after summer months. I do not want to pay the full price for new outfit every season. It adds up when we need new sports gear for hockey and swimming along with dress suits for music competitions. Being a savvy shopper means getting the best prices on menswear, shoes and accessories, and using coupons and deals to save money while looking the best. That’s why I refer to the sites like Groupon to save on our purchases. We save when shopping for our young boys or seniors choosing the items as gifts or for everyday use, so that they look comfortable and stylish everywhere.

 photo Groupon Men_zpstc1simbb.jpg

I was first introduced to Groupon by my boss when working for the bank. He had a daily routine to check Groupon for the best offers and said that it saves tons of money in comparison to buying the same for a full price. Since that time we actively check the deals and find what fits us the most. Groupon offers a wide selection of deals on services and products from clothing, gear, beauty to electronics, toys, travel and entertainment, so check it out.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today DVD Giveaway

*Sony Home Video provided me with some of the materials I used in this Blog Post/Giveaway. The opinions I share are my own.

If you live princess stories, then you should join adventures of beautiful, strong and amazing Princess Alise. She wants to leave her comfortable Royal Castle and explote the world as a pirate. The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today is now available on DVD from Sony Home Entertainment!

In the brand new original animated film, Princess Alise is training to be the perfect royal but in her heart all she wants to do is sail the seven seas as a swashbuckling pirate! After setting sail, Princess Alise is shipwrecked and washes ashore on an island where she meets Lucas, a young boy who has been living there by herself. They have to work together to survive and get back to civilization!

Follow The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today!

Are you fit to be a Princess or a Pirate?

We are are excited to give away a copy of The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today on DVD to one our lucky reader. For your chance simply fill the Rafflecopter form below.

The Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S./Canada and ends September 23, 2016. Good Luck!

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Each household is only eligible to win The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! DVD via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
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Friday, September 9, 2016

Strengthen Child's Literacy Skills With Ooka Island Reading Program #RaiseAReader

Ooka Island Reading

Kids learn fast, especially through the games and activities. In our digital world when everything under your fingers we can easily get any required information. The abundance of resources can discourage and disorient sometimes, that’s why it is essential to do research when it comes to children’s education. Each child takes own unique path in learning to read, it can be easy or hard but the results amaze both parents and kids.

Ooka Island Teddy

This summer we wanted Teddy to become a confident reader and feel comfortable with reading assignments. He learned a lot during his years at Junior and Senior Kindergarten but needed to expand his reading skills to be ready for Grade 1. I heard many positive feedbacks about Ooka Island from other children and parents so we decided to give it a try. Ooka Island is a scientifically proven reading program that accelerates and personalizes your child’s learning with game-based educational activities and 85 eBooks. It is an interactive on-line application with multiple choices where child can learn by himself or with virtual friends. It is designed for children ages 3 to 7. The program teaches five essential reading skills: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension.

OOka Island Read or Play

Ooka Island offers various options to personalize on-line account. Teddy spent some time creating his virtual look and outfit. Plus you can easily change the look of on-line character adding some features for Halloween and Christmas.

Ooka Island Ball

The program has two modes to choose Read or Play. They are both great option to switch between. I like the length of activities, they are long enough to engage Teddy into learning and keep him focused. The whole process of learning is personalized and depends on what your child likes the most. Teddy loves playing so he learns fast through games and he likes being on Ooka Island.

Every Friday parents receive detailed report about the child’s progress. First couple of weeks Teddy did pretty well except, phonics. We knew that before, he had some difficulties and reports reflected that. Kids meet Zobot and Ooka Evles who helps in child’s reading adventures. Teddy has his favorite elf to play. The child can join Word Ball, Pencil Playground, Cave of Sounds, Alphabet Mountain, Cake Factory, Bubbly Trubbly and more, everything to help your child to read through activities. Teddy always comes and shows what he is doing, often asking “Do you know what happens next?” He realized at some point that being able to read is like a magic and he can learn so much through reading.


There are still more reading skills to learn for Teddy, every day he is looking forward to visiting Ooka Island. It is like getting along with friends in a familiar environment. He started reading more books and does not find them boring.

Throphy Room ooka

Hopefully the day will come when we finish our Ooka Island journey and recommend the program to new generation of readers. As for now encourage our children enter the world of reading. With every level you will see how their confidence grows and we will be proud of every accomplishment they made.

OOka Island

As for pricing, the monthly subscription to Ooka Island is $10.99 and annual is $109.99. You can try first level for free and get a sense what is the program is about and how it works. Ooka Island is available to install on major digital devices.

OOka Elves

For our readers we are excited to giveaway one annual subscription to Ooka Island program ($109.99 value). The giveaway is open to US/ Canada and ends September 25, 2016.


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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Disney's Beauty and The Beast Original Animated Film Screening in Toronto Giveaway CAN

The beloved animated classic has truly stood the test of time and now a whole new generation of viewers are invited to be our guest and fall in love with this enchanting tale, its captivating characters and unforgettable, award-winning music score and original song, "Beauty and the Beast."

Beauty And The Beast 2016 25th Anniversary Edition

"Beauty and the Beast" is the wonderful journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young lady who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.

Beauty and the Beast Signature Collection is now available on Digital HD and will be available on Blu-ray September 20. The Walt Disney Signature Collection edition features four versions of "Beauty and the Beast." The Blu-ray release will include the original theatrical film; an extended version with the "Human Again" song sequence and a never-before-released on home entertainment sing-along version. The original work-in-progress version will be available digitally and on Disney Movies Anywhere.

To celebrate this Signature Collection edition release, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada hosts the original animated film screening in Toronto on Sunday, September 18. We are excited to giveaway two family packs to attend the screening.

The movie screening will be held at Cineplex Yonge-Eglinton Cinemas 10:00 am on Sunday, September 18

The giveaway ends September 15, 2016 and open to Canadian residents who can attend the screening.

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