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Get the party started with Netflix Birthdays-On Demand Videos

 

Let’s face it, all parents want their child’s birthday to be extra special. There is just about nothing we’ll do for our children, especially on their birthdays.

My kids don’t really care much about their birthdays anymore (one is almost 18 and the other is 20). They would rather hang out with their friends then their family. That’s fine. It’s all a part of the “circle of life.”

When my kids were little I always wanted their birthday to be “picture perfect.” That wasn’t always the case.

One year for my son’s 3rd birthday I opted to bake a cake instead of buying a sheet cake like we normally do. I am not much of a baker. I try but I always seem to mess up – even with boxed cake mixes.

That one year I wanted to bake a birthday care for our son and our extended family. I baked the cake according to directions. Sadly, when I went to remove the cake chunks of it stuck to the pan, leaving two giant holes in the cake.

There was no time for me to bake another cake, so I had to improvise. I ended up decorating the cake with some of my son’s construction vehicles (Matchbox/Hot Wheels size). The holes in the cake were turned into a quarry, complete with malted milk ball “boulders” and crushed up cookie “dirt.”

The funny thing is that everyone at the party thought I intentionally decorated the cake that way. Little did they know that I ruined the cake but found a creative way to “save” it.

So… I make it a point not to bake anymore. Either my husband does it or I buy a cake. LOL!

Netflix recently did a poll about children’s birthdays and found some interesting responses.

Young children not only want special cakes, but they also want themed parties. Popular characters include Barbie, LEGO, My Little Pony, Pokeman and Skylanders.

Imagine if your child’s favorite characters could be there at their birthday party. Maybe not in person, but they can be there in spirit.

Netflix just launched “Birthdays On Demand” – a series of 15 Birthdays On-Demand featurettes featuring birthday greetings from kids’ favorite characters.

The videos are not personalized to your child. They are generic birthday wishes.

Available characters include DreamWorks All Hail King Julien, Barbie, Beat Bugs, DreamWorks Dinotrux, Las Leyendas, LEGO Friends, LEGO Ninjago, Luna Petunia, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, My Little Pony, Pokemon, Project Mc2, Skylanders Academy, DreamWorks Trollhunters and Word Party. To find these videos, search the keywords “birthday,” “birthdays,” “Birthdays On-Demand” or “birthday songs” on Netflix.

Check out this brief trailer to give you a sneak peek at what you can expect with Netflix Birthdays-On Demand Videos.

 

How cute! I can only imagine the excitement a child would have waking up to special birthday wishes from his/her favorite character.

Netflix was kind enough to send me a little birthday “kit” featuring red velvet cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, candles and decorations. To date we have not made the cake – yet. I don’t bake (I’ve learned my lesson the hard way) so I have been waiting for my husband or my kids to bake the cake for me. Everyone has been super busy (plus we were not home this weekend – we were upstate) so we’ll have to look forward to the cake either later on this week or next weekend.

I love the Netflix candles. They are pretty cool. I wonder if I can find letter candles to spell our people’s names?

When we have the chance to bake the cake I’ll upload a photo of the finished product.

What do you think of Netflix “Birthdays On Demand” videos? Do you think you’ll set them up for your child (or grandchild) on their special day?

What is your child’s favorite Netflix show?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

For more information about Netlfix visit Netflix.com. Netflix can also be found on social media.

Kimberly

*I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team. I received a free subscription and Apple TV in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted.

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My Little Pony: The Movie coming to theaters October 6, 2017

*This post is in partnership with Lionsgate

 

I always find it amazing what books and television shows make it to the big screen. Some I think are just silly and I don’t have much hope for them. Others I question why no one thought of it sooner. Such is the case with My Little Pony.

My Little Pony toys came about in the early 80’s, when I was still a teenager. I actually owned a few of the toys. I grew up with horses and have always loved those magnificent creatures. I also love cute and colorful things. My Little Pony was an ideal toy for me.

My Little Pony has stood the test of time. They were even revived several years ago when an animated series was created for the colorful equines.

I work with kindergartners. My Little Pony are VERY popular with them. They are always asking me for My Little Pony coloring pages. We even have a few My Little Pony toys for them to play with.

I even have a plush Rainbow Dash on my desk.

The popular franchise is now coming to the big screen. My Little Pony: The Movie, is galloping it’s way to a theater near you on October 6, 2017.

A dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6 – Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity – embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their home.

The film has an all-star voice cast including Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Michael Peña, Sia, Taye Diggs, Uzo Aduba and Zoe Saldana. The movie features original music and songs performed by Sia, Diggs, Saldana, Chenoweth and Blunt.

Check out the film’s trailer.

 

It looks cute.

I’ve told some of the kids I work with about it and they are excited about the new movie.

If you are interested in learning more about the film you can visit the Official Site. In addition you can “like” the film on Facebook and follow the film on Twitter and Instagram.

Fans of My Little Pony will enjoy an incredibly fun new feature: The Pony Creator. Join the world of Equestria by personalizing your own shareable pony.

Modify the look of the pony: Body, color, eyes, mane, features and accessories. Next comes a Mad Libs-style quiz to determine your pony name. There are dozens of first and last name options, for thousands of possible combinations such as “Little Luck,” “Celebration Pop,” and “Rose Honeysuckle.”  Finally, select and customize a cutie mark. Best of all, once you’re done there are some hilarious share options!

I’m going to check it out.

I’ll also be hosting a giveaway in the next few days for a $50 AMEX gift card so that you can take your family to see the movie.

Are you fan of My Little Pony? Which is your favorite Pony?

Kimberly

*I am working with Lionsgate to bring you this information. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Happy 35th Anniversary E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

 

Do you every have those little moments in life where you realize just how old you are getting? Sadly, that happens to me more times then I care to remember. Often I get that “I’m old” feeling when I find out how long a favorite book or movie has been around for. Take for example E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. The film was released in 1982 when I was 14 years old. I was just a kid! Now I’m almost 50 years old. Ugh!!!!

I still remember going to see E.T. in the movie theater with my friends. I was super excited to see it. I’ve always been interested in monsters and aliens, and this film was right up my ally.

I loved the film so much that I had my mom take me to see it again. I even had an E.T. doll, which I do believe I still have somewhere buried in our basement.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial has been re-released for its 35th Anniversary in on 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray™ + Digital (Limited Edition) from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment TODAY (September 12, 2017). Look for it where ever movies are sold or downloaded.

In case you are not familiar with this classic film, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is the story of a young boy named Elliot who finds and befriends a lost alien named E.T. who was left behind when his “people” fled Earth in fear of being discovered.

Elliot’s brother and younger sister help hide E.T. from their mother and everyone else.

Elliot and E.T. form a special bond where Elliot can feel what E.T. feels, and E.T. learns to speak English.

E.T. keeps telling Elliot that he wants to “call home.” E.T. wants to go back to his people/planet and it’s up to Elliot, Michael and Gertie to get him there.

Despite their best efforts to hide E.T., government people are on to them. Now it’s a race against time to get E.T. back home before he’s captured.

Will E.T. ever make it back to his planet? What will become of him if he remains on Earth? To find out you need to pick up or download a copy of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

Did you know that won FOUR Academy Awards®, including Best Music?

This special 35th Anniversary release includes a re-mastered CD soundtrack of the original Grammy Award®-winning album, is packed with over three hours of bonus features and includes a collector’s booklet with behind-the-scenes stories and rare images from the archives.

My family and I watched the film together. Afterwards my husband and I dabbled in the bonus features. There are HOURS of bonus features, so it will take us a while to go through it all. I’ll try to remember to update this post as soon as I get to watch all of it.

My personal favorite E.T. Reunion. That was fun to watch. I also enjoyed the deleted scenes and a feature called The Evolution and Creation of E.T. I found that one especially interesting. It gave me a new appreciation for the E.T. character as well as the film.

You might be interested in knowing that Universal has partnered with Snap to create a special 35th anniversary ET lens. I’m not on Snap, so I don’t know how to find it, but I’m sure Snap savvy users will know how.

Are you a fan of E.T.? Did you see it in the theater or after it’s release?

What is your favorite part or character of this iconic film?

Feel free to share your thoughts and memories. I always love to hear from readers.

Snap chat E.T. filer

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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TRA-LA-LAAA!!! Captain Underpants will be available on Blu-ray/DVD on September 12, 2017

 

If you have a young child (or perhaps not-so-young child) you are probably familiar with the literary character Captain Underpants. The books are written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey. Dav Pilkey has written and illustrated such popular books as Dog Man, The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, Kat Kong, Dogzilla, and the Dumb Bunnies, to name a few.

Captain Underpants is probably Pilkey’s most popular book series. I remember when my kids used to read the books. Even my husband and I have read Captain Underpants books. I think they appeal to both young and old.

Captain Underpants even became a movie that was in theaters a couple of months ago – Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. I hope that including “first” in the film’s title means that there will be more Captain Underpants movies in the near future.

My husband and I saw the film when it was in the theater. It was a “date night” so we didn’t bring our kids. That is OK. They finally had the opportunity to see the film, along with my daughter’s friend, Saturday night. We hosted a Captain Underpants movie sleep over party. Another of my daughter’s friends was supposed to sleep over but her family plans changed. We also had other friends come over and watch the film (two adults, one child). Our little friend was too young to spend the night. That’s OK. She went home with some fun Captain Underpants “swag” which she can enjoy when her parents get her a copy of the film (she loved it and told her parents she wants her own copy of the film).

Before any party/sleepover you need snacks – and plenty of them. My daughter and I stopped by our local Target to pick up some goodies. Lucky for us Halloween candy is readily available, so we were able to pick up some snack size treats for everyone to enjoy.

The movie studio sent me some fun “swag” to give to our guests. To be honest, even as an adult, I was giddy like a little kids when I opened up the box and saw what was inside.

Talk about a “party favor.” Our guests were treated to a Captain Underpants branded duffel bag, cape, an adorable blanket that is OH-SO-SOFT, Whoopee cushions (everyone got a kick out of those), fun fill-in books (think Mad Libs) with stickers, official Captain Underpants handbooks, colored pencils (these came in handy – I didn’t have any at home) and these super awesome books that allow you to create your very own comic book series.

Of all the goodies I’d have to say the blankets (they are SO SOFT and snuggly) and the Blank Comic Book for Kids are my favorite goodies. I think each of our guests had their own favorites.

The fill in book (Wacky Word Wedgies and Flushable Fill-Ins) was A LOT of fun to play around with for all of us (the kids and adults). First and foremost the adults (myself included) had to stop and think about things like adjectives and pronouns (it’s been a long time since we’ve had to think about them). Some of the things we came up with were hysterical. We could have easily finished an entire book. We didn’t because we wanted time to enjoy the movie.

I thought wearing jammies would add to the sleep over experience, even though not everyone was sleeping over. I wore jammies too.

I had to fuzz out my daughter’s friend’s face. My son was “not feeling it” as far as being in photos (usually he’s OK with it… I don’t know why he wasn’t this time around).

I asked my husband to hold up the blanket. Of course he had to fool around.

We fight over the blankets. My kids each have one and my husband and I keep swiping it off their beds. It really is incredibly soft and snugly. I love the Captain Underpants characters on it too.

I think the duffel bag was a perfect touch. You need something like that to hold your jammies, change of clothes and toothbrush. They are a nice size too – ideal for an overnight stay.

We received Captain Underpants capes. Sadly, no one would “model” one for me (my husband offered to but it wouldn’t fit around his neck). I don’t like to take photos of children who are not my own, so I couldn’t take a photo of our little friend who did fit the cape. For the sake of a photo I had our (almost) life size Darth Vader model one for me.

The extra capes won’t go to waste. I work with little children (Kindergartners) and they earn prizes for good behavior. I plan on using the extra capes for prizes. We have a student who I know LOVES Captain Underpants so I plan on making sure he gets one.

The Blank Comic Book for Kids didn’t get used before we started the movie, but there was a lot of talking as to what type of cartoon to make. I have to say I am impressed by the ideas the kids came up with. I hope they use them to create the fun comics they were discussing.

We had plenty of goodies. We ordered pizza, popped popcorn and indulged in snack size candies as well as some chips and salsa. We were on the fence about making hot chocolate. It wasn’t really cold, and I felt like the kids had enough junk food as it is, so I opted for ice tea and lemonade instead.

Now on to the movie…

Captain Underpants is the story of two best friends – George and Harold. They are well known in school for doing a lot of pranks, much to the dismay of their principle, Mr. Krupp. The duo are always pranking teachers, and they especially love to do things they know are going to get on Principal Krupp’s nerves.

When they are not at school or playing pranks the friends love to write comics. Their comic book character is called Captain Underpants.

After a prank went seriously wrong, Principal Krupp decided to put an end to their friendship by separating them into different classes on different sides of the school. Before he could make it happen, George pulls out his hypnotizing ring and hypnotizes Principal Krupp. He even took it a step further by telling Krupp that he is the real Captain Underpants. To their surprise it worked. Their principal turned into their made up super hero, even going so far as to strip down to his underpants.

The boys discover that they can turn Krupp back and forth between himself and his alter ego, Captain Underpants, simply by snapping their fingers or splashing him with water.

Meanwhile, while all of this is happening, a new teacher in the school, Professor Poopypants, has an agenda of his own. He’s plotting to get rid of all laughter, something that Harold and George love to do.

Will Captain Underpants save the day or will it be up to George and Harold? To find out you need to pick up a copy of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Look for it where ever movies are sold or rented on September 12, 2017.

My husband and I loved the film the first time we saw it. I think we enjoyed it even more the second time around. My kids really enjoyed it too (as well as our guests). I actually heard my kids laughing!!!! That is a rarity. I think it’s “uncool” to find the same things funny that your parents also find funny. Ha Ha.

This is a fun, family friendly film that all ages will enjoy. Even when we originally saw it in the theater there were plenty of adults there without kids.

The characters are really fun and enjoyable (just like in the book). The filmmakers really did a great job staying true to the literary character. Since Captain Underpants has been on a lot of adventures in the book series, I hope that we’ll see more of Captain Underpants, Harold and George in future movies.

After the film our littlest guest and her parents left and the rest of the kids went off to continue eating junk food and watching another movie (they were not tired and were up until around 4:00 AM!).

There are plenty of bonus features with this film. The bonus features are worth watching so I would recommend you check them out. The kids left the living room before we went through the bonus features. They should have stayed because there were a lot of funny featurettes including sock puppet versions of Harold and George with an animated version of one of their comic books, the boys describing how to be the perfect superhero (don’t forget a cape!), a guide to being a villain hosted by Prof. Poopypants, music videos and more.

If you would like to see some other cool Captain Underpants sleepover parties check out the hashtag #CaptainUnderpantsHE. You can also check out the hashtag #FaLaLaa to see videos of other bloggers and their families doing the infamous Captain Underpants call (I tried to get to the kids to do it but they were being camera shy).

To learn more about this movie you can visit the Captain Underpants page on the Dreamworks website.

If you are fan of the series (and/or movie) I would encourage you to check out a special Captain Underpants website where you can find fun activities, videos, .gifs, printables and more. I printed out the coloring pages for the kids. I even printed a few extra for the kids I work with (they love Captain Underpants too).

The website is TraLaLaaTreeHouse.com.

This coloring page is found on the Tra La Laa Tree House website.

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy, branded movie swag, other goodies and a gift card for supplies. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Movie Review: Megan Leavey

 

Available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download is the heart-wrenching, yet feel good movie, Megan Leavey. 

The film stars Kate Mara, Ramon Rodriquez, Tom Felton, Bradley Whitford, Will Patton, Edie Falco and Common.

I’ll be the first one to say that I DON’T like films about war. I can’t watch them. I find them more scary than horror movies. I think it’s because films about war depict what it’s really like for our men and women in the armed forces. I cannot imagine what they go through during times of war. Just the idea of not knowing from one day to the next if you are going to live or die is impossible to imagine. That is why I have the utmost respect for those in the military.

The reason why I wanted to review this film is because it’s not just a film about life in the military – it’s also about the bond between a solider and her K-9 partner.

Megan Leavey (Mara) is a young woman with no real purpose in her life. She lives in upstate New York with her mother (Falco). Leavey doesn’t really aspire to do much and rather spend her days sleeping, much to the dismay of her mother.

One day Megan sees some Marines in a parade. For some reason they inspire her to want to want to join the Marines. Before you know it she’s in Boot Camp doing all the military training and getting yelled at by her superiors.

After a night of partying (a big no-no when you are in Boot Camp), Megan is assigned to clean the pens for the military dogs. While she is cleaning the pens she watches the dogs and decides she wants to be a part of it. After bugging her superior she is assigned to the K-9 unit. She is also partnered up with the dog no one wants to work with – a hard to handle German Shepard named Rex.

Megan and Rex have a lot to learn, not only about their roles in the military K-9 unit, but also about themselves and each other.

The pair is deployed to Iraq when they are faced with many dangerous situations. Once such situation almost kills Megan. She is sent back home to recover, but Rex is left behind to continue with his K-9 duties.

Megan realizes that she needs Rex, and she is pretty sure that Rex needs her. They have formed a bond that she never expected.

Megan will do whatever it takes to bring Rex home to her and let him enjoy a retired life by her side. The military does not want to relinquish Rex to her. He is seen as “unadoptable” due to his military training.

Will Megan win the battle to bring Rex back home? Or will Rex live out his life in the military before they put him down when his service is no longer needed. To find out you need to pick up (or download) Megan Leavey. Look for it where ever movies are sold.

This film really tugged at my heart-strings. As a dog/pet lover I cannot imagine a dog begin put in such situations. At the same time, those amazing military dogs are responsible for saving the lives of our men and women in the military. They are able to sniff out bombs and other potential hazards.

The film was a real eye-opener. I didn’t realize just how intense the training for both dogs and their human counterparts are. It’s grueling at times. I appreciate the insight that the film gave.

This film has a lot going for it – action, adventure, drama, edge-of-your-seat situations and of course the unbreakable bond between a dog and a human. It made me cry –  A LOT. Some where sad tears, others were happy tears. Make sure you have tissues handy, especially if you are sensitive like me.

I still am not too keen about the war aspect of this film but over all I thought this film was wonderful. I like it even more knowing that it’s based on a true story. I don’t want to let you know the outcome of Megan and Rex’s battle with the military, but if you read the news you probably already know.

There is a bonus feature, but I didn’t have the opportunity to watch it yet. When I have the chance to watch it I’ll update the post.

Below is the theatrical trailer for the film. The film is now available for home viewing.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Movie Review: Clarity

 

Growing up I never knew who my biological mother was. I knew of her, but I haven’t seen her since I was 18 months old. She just up and disappeared when I was a toddler. To this day no one even knows why.

My biological mother, aka “egg donor,” abandoned two other children (my half brothers). She had one more child that she ended up keeping. No one knows why she did the things she did to us kids.

I was raised by my biological father and paternal grandparents. All my life I had questions that only my biological other would know the answers to. The number one thing I wanted to know was her medical history. I know that some diseases are inherited. I wanted to know if I carried the genes for anything like cancer, heart disease or autoimmune diseases.

Thanks to my aunt (her biological sister) that I found last year, I know about my medical history now and have taken precautions to make sure I don’t fall victim to any serious health problems.

I can’t imagine being an adoptive parent and not knowing anything about my adopted child’s health history, or their family’s health history. Even worst, what if you needed one of the birth parents to help save your child’s life?

Such is the case in a new film that is currently available on DVD and Video on Demand called Clarity. 

Clarity stars Nadine Velazques, Dina Meyer, Maurice Compte, Tony Denison, Dana Melanie, Lourdes Narro. Sadly I am not familiar with any of these actors.

Here is a brief synopsis of the film;

When 22-year old Maggie (Dana Melanie) falls fatally ill with a rare kidney disease, her adoptive mother, Sharon (Meyer) must find her birth mother to save her dying daughter.  The family begins to unravel as Sharon discovers the baby she ‘adopted’ so many years ago, was bought – a victim of a human trafficking scheme.  Estranged, emotionally ravaged Carmen (Velazquez) grasps for any thread and travels to Las Vegas to meet the girl who may be her daughter.  What she finds is more than she bargained for and faces the ultimate question: how far do you go for love.

This is a great drama/thriller that will keep you entertained and interested from start to finish.

This is an independent film and not a big budget film filled with Oscar winners. I think that is why some people push aside such films – thinking they are not as good. That is not always the case. There are plenty of “gems” out there well worth seeing – Clarity is one of them.

The characters are not only likable, but they are believable too. They really pulled off their parts very well.

This film makes you think. It’s not just some fluff meant to entertain you for an hour or so. This film challenges you to think about put yourself in the character’s situations. I honestly don’t know if I would have done things the same way, or would I? Its hard to say because I hope and pray I never find myself in a similar situation.

The film starts off a little slow, but it’s needed to suck you up into the story line. Once you are hooked you can’t stop watching it.

There are plenty of twists and turns in this film. I thought it would be a bit predictable, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it wasn’t.

The ending I didn’t see coming. I thought I knew how the film was going to end, but I was wrong.

Even my husband enjoyed Clarity. He thought it was going to be a “chick flick” but he was wrong.

Look for Clarity where ever movies are sold or on Video on Demand.

The film runs for about an hour and a half. It doesn’t have a rating but I would think it would be a PG-13.

You can learn more about the film on it’s official Facebook page.

Below is the trailer for your enjoyment.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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