Brooklyn Bean Roastery - Express O and Vanilla Skyline

 We are a coffee house! My husband is a 12 cup a day kinda guy and I do at least 2 and some days 4 so needless to say when I received a box of Express O and Vanilla Skyline from Brooklyn Bean Roastery we were excited. The boxes from with a 40 K-Cup count and ready for use.

I LOVE Vanilla coffee and Vanilla Skyline is exactly what I love about vanilla coffee. Even without flavored creamer it is delicious. It has a just the right amount of vanilla to still taste like coffee

My husband the true "Coffee Drinker" enjoyed both but says he loved Express O best. The Express O is perfect for a guy who works 2 jobs. He needs his java and he needs it to wake him up. Express O does that!  BTW...he says he likes Express O best but hmmm...the Vanilla Skyline is down to three K-Cups.

Whether you like dark roasts or flavored roasts Brooklyn Bean Roastery has tons of flavors for you.

To Order any of the flavors visit Amazon

Whitmor Brings Love and Hope to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Whitmor is putting their design skills and creativity to use for a great cause. They’ve created a bright and cheerful pattern specifically for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Their new pattern will be applied to several of their core, best-selling laundry items. When you purchase this design filled with love, hope, courage, strength and heart you’ll also be giving back. 10% of the wholesale cost of the St.Jude-inspired pattern will go back to St. Jude’s to help with research. 

The hospital does remarkable work for children around the world every day and Whitmor is proud to contribute in this way. The words on the pattern were just a few the Whitmor team came up with that represent the hard work and dedication St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital provides to their precious patients. Whitmor strives to support the community so this partnership made perfect sense according to Executive Vice President Scott Felsenthal: "Being able to create products to support St. Jude Children's Hospital is something that we are extremely excited about. Partnering with such an incredible organization that doesn't require a child or their family to pay a penny for treatment and housing is a reminder that all of us at Whitmor have a purpose in helping not only consumers in their everyday lives by providing them with products to keep them organized, but a purpose in helping the community in which we live and making the world a better place for those that are dealing with life-threatening illnesses."

The non-profit organization is based just minutes from Whitmor’s Southaven, Mississippi office so they witness their incredible, inspiring efforts day and night. St. Jude’s works tirelessly to be sure no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food. This is possible ONLY through donations and contributions from businesses that support those kids. 

Fred's, Inc., who is also Memphis-based and a long-time partner of Whitmor, will be the first retailer to offer a selection of the St. Jude items. Fred’s will carry three of the five available items in all 659 stores starting Sunday, September 17th.
  • ironing board cover
  • cotton laundry bag
  • collapsible hamper

For more information on Whitmor and their many products, please visit

The Student Body Chews The Fat With Lawmakers


“A tribute to student journalism and the power of investigative reporting.”
-Common Sense Media

Politically-Charged Film on Childhood Obesity Premieres October 5th in New York City

New York, NY – September 19, 2016 -  Acclaimed filmmakers Michael and Bailey Webber will be present for a special-event screening of their ground-breaking new documentary The Student Body. Winner of the 2016 Independent Spirit Award, The Student Body tackles the heated topic of childhood obesity and the efforts to solve this national epidemic. 

Hosted by The National Eating Disorders Association, The Student Body will screen on October 5th at the Regal E-Walk Theatre off Broadway where the award-winning father/daughter filmmaking team will participate in audience engagement while exploring issues of health, student activism, leadership, lawmaking, and other topics of importance to youth and adults around the country.

The Student Body follows the inspiring story of Bailey Webber, a brave high school student turned journalist who seeks justice for her peers.  In many states throughout the country, laws have been enacted requiring schools to send notification letters to students whose body mass index (BMI) do not fall within a narrowly “acceptable” range—essentially telling children, even as young as kindergarteners, that they are fat.  The documentary illustrates how youth can use their own passion and voice to engage lawmakers in order to advocate change.  The Student Body will release in select theatres throughout the year.

Synopsis:  In an effort to address the obesity problem among American youth, lawmakers in dozens of states have passed controversial mandates forcing schools to perform BMI tests on students.  What soon followed sparked a heated national debate.  Coined the 'Fat Letters' by students, notification letters were sent to kids whose body mass did not fall within a narrowly acceptable range; essentially telling children, even as young as kindergarteners, that they are fat.  When a determined sixth grader in Ohio voices her protest against the letters, student journalist Bailey Webber is inspired to take up her fight.  Convinced that her fellow students are being unfairly profiled and bullied by the government, Bailey's investigation soon turns into a battle of wills between herself and the bureaucrats who passed the law.  The Student Body is a true underdog story of two brave girls who take a stand against government intrusion and hypocrisy while exploring the complex and controversial truths of the childhood obesity debate.

About Bailey Webber Bailey Webber is a student investigative journalist, writer and co­director of The Student Body. Her story of courage and activism has been featured in numerous newspaper and online articles. She has been honored by the National Association of University Women for her advocacy work, is an ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association as well as Proud to Be Me in which she has written several articles, blogs, and has participated in panel discussions. Bailey is also an up-and-coming public speaker and has appeared as a guest on several television and radio shows. Bailey is the daughter of Michael Webber, a motion picture producer and renowned documentary filmmaker. As such, she has grown up around movie making and has storytelling in her blood. The Student Body is her directorial debut.

About Michael Webber:  Michael Webber is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and producer/co­director of The Student Body. Webber has produced numerous theatrical films for studios such as 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate. Eventually applying his storytelling skills to non­fiction filmmaking, Webber would go on to produced/directed his “passion project” ­ the hit documentary The Elephant in the Living Room. The film was praised by critics as one of the best films of the year, winning 5 Best Documentary awards and opening as the #1 independent film in the US.  Michael has been guest on countless radio and television talk shows around the country, including appearances on The Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News and Nightline. He was
also the subject of an ABC 20/20 special by Emmy Award Winning journalist Jay Schradler.

The 411 by Maria:

This is a wonderful documentary by a students who decided to take action after "fat letters' were mailed to students from their schools. I loved watching Bailey's tenacity as she tries to interview the lawmakers who have justified the BMI Scale in schools as a way of profiling people. I found it so interesting that students are made to get on the scale in front of their classmates, weighed and then judged however when Bailey asked every adult she interviewed if they would get on the scale, all but two refused. The adults were offered the right to CHOOSE whether or not they wanted to. Only two agreed. This documentary for me proved that kids have voices, they can make a difference and while I know that this BMI Scale thing is a hot mess, it was great to hear so many professionals stating so. The scale is so narrow. My daughter is a gorgeous, 11 year old and according to her BMI she is overweight. She is nowhere near overweight and I dare some letter from school to tell her so.  

As someone who had an eating disorder when I was younger, I worry about kids hearing about weight so young. I have always made it be about how you feel. How making the right food choices is about being healthy and strong. Never about a number. I haven't weighed myself in over 25 years and it is the best thing I ever did for myself. Even through my pregnancies I asked my doctors to not mention weight unless I was at a dangerous level. I can't let it ever be about a number. 

Weight is a private thing and I would want to empower my children to be able to refuse the test. No one needs to tell an overweight person that they are overweight. They know it and see it daily. But when schools and the government decide they have jurisdiction over our weight there is a serious problem. I was happy to read that the Ohio lawmakers which is where Bailey's story takes placed ended mandated BMI testing in schools. 

Great documentary. It was riveting.

#GIVEAWAY - Trick Or Treaters Just In Time For #Halloween

Just In Time For Halloween!
On DVD, Digital HD and On Demand NOW!

BEVERLY HILLS, CA (July 19, 2016) – A spook-tacular adventure that’s entertaining at any age, Trick or Treaters arrives on DVD, Digital HD and On Demand from Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein Company, as well as on Digital HD and On Demand, on September 6, 2016. Just in time for Halloween, celebrate the holiday with a hauntingly delightful animated story about generosity, compassion and learning a valuable lesson when it’s least expected.

Trick or Treaters follows an orphan named Tiffany, traveling by carriage to a dreary castle high in the mountains, where her wicked aunt runs a home for orphans. On the way to the castle, Tiffany ends up in the hands of three robbers – and considers herself lucky as can be! With a childish lie, she makes them believe that she’s a princess from India worth millions of jewels. Inspired by the little girl’s idea, they agree to take her, but just as the three had feared, she turns their lives upside down and teaches them a lesson about selflessness, kindness and love in this charming tale.

Packaged with Halloween-themed wall decals, including bats, mummies, pumpkins and more, Trick or Treaters will be available on DVD for the suggested retail price of $14.98.

The 411 by Maria and Goddess

The movie reminded me of movies from my youth.  Made in 2007 the movie is a German animation with a few songs at the beginning that made me think it would be like a Mr. Magoo Christmas Carole movie but alas it was just in the beginning. 

My daughter would ask aloud the things I was thinking. A child mourning the loss of her parents, the three creepy villains, the evil woman who runs the orphanage, the dripping blood or perhaps beet juice that was shown on the screen whenever the orphanage was shown and oh my gosh the ending.....creepy. So for us, the cover makes it seem that it is a sweet little movie about an adorable little girl but it is about thieves or robbers, death, being alone, running away, and more. In the last scene the evil woman is turned into a cake which all the kids eat. Shudder! wasn't all that bad. I know that makes it sound horrible. It has a good ending where bad people become good, the children are saved and those who were alone are no longer alone. 

I wouldn't say this is for kids under 10.

To learn more about the film, please visit

To Purchase:

The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein. During Harvey and Bob’s tenure at Miramax and TWC, they have received 351 Oscar nominations and won 82 Academy Awards.


Anchor Bay Entertainment is a leading independent home entertainment company that acquires and releases a wide array of filmed entertainment in the theatrical and home entertainment markets, including STARZ Original series, children's entertainment, fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports and specialty films on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats. The company has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Anchor Bay Entertainment ( is a full service distributor in the North American market. Anchor Bay Entertainment is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business,

Trick or Treaters DVD
Street Date: September 6, 2016
Pre-book: August 3, 2016
Catalog #: WC64601
UPC: 01313264601580
Run Time: 74 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
SRP: $14.98
Format: DVD
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen Presentation 1.85:1
Audio: English and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English Subtitles for the Deaf & Hearing Impaired / Subtitles Spanish

GIVEAWAY - Meet The Bobs and Tweets by Pepper Springfield

Meet The Bobs and Tweets by Pepper Springfield and Illustrated by Kristy Caldwell   
Age Range: 4 - 8 years 
Grade Level: Preschool - 3 
Lexile Measure: 550 
Hardcover: 80 pages 
Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (June 28, 2016)

...the Bobs, who are messy, and the Tweets, who are neat. How can these two strange families get along in the same neighborhood? And are all the Tweets really neat and all the Bobs slobs?

This is the first book in a brand-new series of full-color, illustrated high-interest rhyming stories that's just right for reluctant readers. It's Dr. Seuss meets Captain Underpants wrapped into one zany adventure. Get ready to read...and laugh!

The 411:

Over the summer I reviewed this book and now I have been given the honor of hosting a giveaway.

The entire time I was reading it I felt like I was reading a satire Dr. Seuss book so the description of Dr. Seuss meets Captain Underpants is perfect.

The Bobs are all messy except for one (Bob 7 named Dean) and The Tweets are all clean except for one (Tweet 7 named Lou). When they are tossed together there will surely be mayhem especially when the Bob's dog Chopper and The Tweets cat Pretty Kitty get in the mix.

The book kept my attention in the beginning but every once in a while it didn't read out loud well because the rhyme would drop off but it is a decent read and with a Lexile of 550, it isn't a bad summer book for kids within the range. 

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion.  My reviews are 100% honest and true based on my personal opinion not on a company’s description or request. No monetary compensation was received

Whitefern by V.C. Andrews

(Book #2 of The Audrina Series)

The long-awaited sequel to My Sweet Audrina, one of V.C. Andrews’s strangest, most beloved books—and now a Lifetime movie! Whitefern swallowed Audrina’s childhood—and now the sprawling Victorian mansion threatens her adult life too...

Audrina remembers a better time, when her husband, Arden, was a young man with a heart filled with devotion for her. He didn’t used to be this ambitious, expansive...this cruel. But then, the death of Audrina’s father changed a great many things.

When the reading of her father’s will reveals that Audrina herself will control fifty-one percent of the family brokerage—the halls of Whitefern again don’t feel safe. Arden’s protestations become frantic, nearly violent. And while Audrina didn’t anticipate running the family business, she’s curious to do so. And she can’t help but wonder what had made her father change his will at the last minute? What did he know about Arden that she didn’t?

Trapped in the middle of it all: her fragile, simple sister—the beautiful, trusting Sylvia. Audrina promised her father she’d watch over the young woman. But after years of relative quiet, the dark days of Whitefern may have returned...
The 411 by Maria:
Ghostwriter for V.C. Andrews book 2 of the My Sweet Audrina Series finishes up the story of Audrina and her beautiful sister Sylvia in true VC Andrews fashion with Death, Deception and Devotion. Although TRUE Diehard VC Andrews fans do not love the book I think it is fine if you don't read too much into it. Yes, there are many inconsistencies from the first especially with Sylvia and forget Arden. How could a man change so much? UGH..and although I was able to figure out the ending less than midway through the book, it definitely kept my attention.  Audrina's love for her father and sister, her trust in the people around her at times made me want to scream open your eyes Audrina but alas the horrors of Whitefern would eventually free her of her current prison. I would love to read a new book with Audrina running her father's company with a new awareness of the many deceptions and the webs people will weave for their own gain but I know it will only be in my head as this was the last one of the series. 

To Purchase:

Lessons For The Future Have To Happen Now

Monday morning I dropped my 11 year old Goddess off at the bus for a two night/three day school trip. I did not want to send her but she begged. All her friends were going, all her friends told me they would take care of her and I found out which teachers were going on the trip and felt comfortable so I sent her. I know these things are great for her and also know she will create memories to last her a lifetime but in my head I want my baby with me.  So, like any good mom I let her go, I can't hold her too tight or she will flee the nest the moment she can. Allowing our children to grow up isn't easy for some of us.

At the bus there were people like me, there were also people who were like BYE...can't believe it is only two nights and then there are a bunch of the middle ground. I found Goddess' friends, we put her bag on the bus. I took some photos and with these three it is difficult. None of them want to pose for a camera. I basically stand there shouting out all three names and shoot hoping for at least one. My now 11 year old is very much the tween and has no time for this.

I adore their awkwardness. They are adorable. She was loving the fact she is going with her friends. She is a very independent girl. HOWEVER....

When she returns she will be grounded. Not because she went on a school trip but because she didn't follow the instructions her parents set forth before she left.

The kids were told they could call home using their cells between the hours of 4:30 - 5:15. It was the first day and while she doesn't have a phone I am friends with the teachers who were on the trip. She was asked if she wanted to call home and said, "my mom is working."  Hmm...the kid has zero concept of time. She doesn't know 4:30 means we would all be home. I get out at 2 and pick her up from school at 2:30 but at 11 she still has no idea how time works.  The teacher was sweet enough to send me a photo of the girls after they had showered waiting to go to dinner

and I mentioned how upset I was that I hadn't heard from her which is when I got that story. She told me that she would have her call about 8:15ish when they were done with some activity. Sounded great. Her dad was annoyed she hadn't called and said this shows lack of responsibility and she would not be going on another trip.

SO.....8:15 comes, 8:30 I get a sweet text from the teacher who said, "Sorry, she doesn't want to call, she is having fun with her friends and I will have her call tomorrow." I thanked the teacher but in my head I thought, What!? Goddess was too busy to call home? Her father was annoyed, I was  pissed!!! We paid $279 for her to go to this trip but there were rules and she has no time for a few moments to tell us she is OK?! Well...I never!

She did call last night. She doesn't do go phone. It was a horrible call. I couldn't get through to her. She was ignoring everything saying she couldn't hear me but the teacher told me she could hear me fine. Most of the time it was me screaming her name and saying HELLO! UGH!

Anyway...when she gets home, after she tells me how much fun she had, I will inform her that she is grounded until Monday and that she will not be going on another overnight never mind two nights anytime soon. This lesson is not for my 11 year old Goddess, it is for my 18+ Goddess who will eventually be borrowing the car and needs to learn when Mom and Dad say you are to call home we mean it.  These lessons need to happen now NOT when she is 18!

Parenting is HARD sometimes.

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Dear Readers: At this time all giveaways on Maria's Space are for the United States unless otherwise noted.