I was chosen to host a Quest for Zhu DVD screening party through the wonderful Mom Select program, but due to a FedEx error, I was unable to make it as grand as I had originally planned. FedEx chose to deliver my package to some random house in my development rather than to me, but fortunately the wonderful organizers at Mom Select had another package sent out to me. Since the posts are due today, I did a rush job and basically just invited a few of Jake’s neighborhood friends over for an impromptu movie date over the weekend.

Quest for Zhu is a brand-new movie releasing on September 27, 2011, that features those lovable little hamsters of the Zhu-Zhu craze in a quest to find the Palace of Zhu. Movies based on toys are often hit or miss, but this one was definitely a hit with Jake and his friends. In fact, Jake is currently watching it for the 4th time while I write this. In the movie, Pipsqueak gets swept to the other side of the Zhuniverse, where she find and befriends Chuck, Num Nums and Mr. Squiggles. The four of them set off on their adventure and battle the evil reptilian Mezhula. In true “I’ve gone off to find my dreams but discovered they were right there all along” fashion, Pipsqueak learns that all she ever needed was right there at home, and she must find a way to get back there.

The party packages contained a Zhu-Zhu Hamster, which we added to Jake’s already large collection and let the kids play with his complex system of battle arenas (from the Kung Zhu line) and hamster habitat pieces (which he inherited from my friend, who spent countless days rushing to stores to get her hands on them just two Christmas’ ago, but her daughter outgrew them recently when she turned 13). I have to admit, it took me a while to get on board with the Zhu-Zhu phase. That first year, I helped hunt them down for my friend, but didn’t think Jake would be into them. Then they came out with the Kung Zhu pets and Jake begged for the whole set, and eventually started wanting the regular hamsters as well. At first, I thought it would just be easier to buy him real hamsters, but the utter cuteness of these squeaking little toys sucked me in, and I secretly play with them when Jake’s not around.

The party pack also came with really cute activity books with mazes and other fun games. The book folds out into a poster, which we’ll be hanging up as soon as I can find some room on Jake’s wall. My party planning kit had some awesome recipes, including one for a pizza bar, which I think would go great at any party. I didn’t have time to pull that together, so we just had blue popcorn (who knew they made that? Well, Jake did, because he memorizes commercials like some people memorize baseball player stats) and the included Twizzlers, but I’m definitely keeping this one in mind for the future. Basically, you give each child their own mini-crust or pita bread and have them go down the line adding toppings. I would go with the basics- sauce, a few different types of cheeses, pepperoni, and maybe some other assorted vegetables. Then you just cook for 6-8 minutes and voila, personalized pizzas!

Thank you again to Mom Select for providing me with the Quest for Zhu DVD and all the goodies for the party, and for re-sending it to me when FedEx lost my first one.