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Family is what you make of it

 

Mixed Family

Families are not the way they used to be. Back in the day you had a dad, mom and a couple of kids. These days families come in all different configurations. Some families have two moms, or two dads. Some families have more kids then you can count (hello Duggar family). There are some families with just one child, and even families made up entirely of foster children. Single parts. Grandparents raising grandchildren… there is no such thing as a traditional family anymore. I’m OK with that. I like diversity.

My family situation is different than others. I was raised by my paternal grandparents. They are my mom and dad. They always have been. I was also raised along side my biological father. My aunt and uncle were essentially my sister and brother.

Sound confusing? It was. And I guess for some people it’s still a confusing set up. I don’t see it that way. I was blessed to have a mom and dad who loved and cared about me a lot. And I was raised with my father who also loves and cares about me a lot. In fact my husband and father are the best of friends. Usually people complain about the in-laws but my husband adores my father and stepmother, and the feeling is mutual.

I like that the media is embracing the fact that many families these days are unique. Take for example the ABC Family show Baby Daddy where a young baby is cared for by her father and her father’s friends. Another example would be Full House where a man and his children share a house with his best friends who also help to raise his girls.

It’s not often you’ll find families like The Cleavers. Today’s modern families are a hodge podge of different configurations. You can even toss cousins, aunts, uncles and pets into the mix because some families include extended family members too.

Grace and Frankie

There is a new original comedy airing on Netflix about a new kind of blended family. It stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. The show is called Grace and Frankie. The show also features Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston.

When Grace and Frankie’s husbands leave them after 20 years of marriage—to be with each other—the women find themselves facing a change that they never expected, but they shift their perspective to get through it together with the support of their new blended family and, of course, a sense of humor.

I haven’t had the opportunity to watch the show yet. I think I’ll “binge watch” it this weekend. I’ve seen a preview for the show and it looks really funny. I’m looking forward to watching it. I don’t think it’s a “women’s show” either. It looks like something my husband would enjoy too.

Netflix has a lot of available content that explores families and just how diverse they can be. Below are some fabulous examples.

Little Kids

1. Lily’s Driftwood Bay
2. The Tigger Movie
3. Guess How Much I Love You: S1E5 Big Like You
4. Angelina Ballerina: Superstar Sisters

Big Kids

1. Crash & Bernstein
2. Life with Boys
3. Spy Kids
4. Russell Madness (Available 5/10)

Teens Adults

1. Raising Hope
2. The Fosters
3. Gilmore Girls
4. Life Unexpected

I’ve never seen The Fosters but I hear it’s a really good show. I’m going to see if I can start watching it on Netflix too.

Netflix has some new programming coming on the horizon too in case you were interested. I’m looking forward to Puss in Boots and King Julien.

New on Netflix

1. All Hail King Julien (new episodes 4/3)
2. Littlest Pet Shop: Season 3 (4/21)
3. Lalaloopsy: Festival of Sugary Sweets (5/2)
4. Puss in Boots (new episodes 5/8)
5. H20 Mermaid Adventures (5/22)
6. Richie Rich: Season 2 (5/22)
7. Mako Mermaids: Season 3 (5/29)

Each and every family is unique. Even if you have a more traditional family I am sure that there is something special and unique about YOUR family.

Tell me about your family. Is your family more along the lines of a traditional family or do you have a more modern family, like my family arrangement? Feel free to share your stories. I always love to hear from my readers.

To see what other great programming is available on Netflix visit Netflix.com. You can also find them on social media.

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Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I am part of Netflix’s ambassador program. I received free membership and an Apple TV in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted.

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When Calls the Heart – Oh the drama!

 

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If you read my blog on a regular basis you probably recall the post I wrote last week about the Hallmark Channel hit series When Calls the Heart and how much I adore the relationship between two of the main characters – the lovely Elizabeth and the handsome Canadian Mountie Jack.

Did you happen to catch yesterday’s episode (May 17, 2015)? Oh the drama!

I love the budding relationship between Elizabeth and Jack, but now I’m concerned that others will step in and break them apart.

First we have the relationship between Elizabeth and Charles. Not only does Abigail notice the strong attraction between the two of them, viewers do too. You can tell there is a bit of chemistry between the pair.

To make the situation even more difficult, there might be something still lingering between Jack and his ex-fiance Rosemary. Although personally I think the Jack is well over her and more into Elizabeth. You can see it in his eyes and his smile every time he looks at her (Elizabeth). He also seems more at ease and at peace when he’s with her.

This coming together and then others causing interference sort of reminds me of another couple in Coal Valley – Bill and Nora Avery played by real life husband and wife Jack and Kristina Wagner. They were regulars on the soap opera General Hospital as Frisco and Felicia. Just like Elizabeth and Jack they didn’t meet on the best of terms, started out friends then got together, pulled apart, back together, then then pulled apart again. A similar scenario but under different circumstances.

For me it seems like Jack is the perfect man for her – especially after he built her that wonderful school house. But I guess if their relationship came together too easy that it would take away a huge chunk of the show’s story line. I think for some people the idea of Jack and Elizabeth ending up together is what draws them into watching the show week after week.

Oddly enough I like seeing Jack and Kristina Wagner on the show. I  watched them for so many years on General Hospital that its great to see them again on When Calls the Heart.

Jack and Kristina Wagner - When Calls the Heart

I like the possibly relationship between Bill and Abigail (Lori Loughlin), but the GH fan in me sort of whats to see Bill and Nora (Frisco and Felicia) back together.

I like that the show is not all about who is falling in love with who. There are some other stories in town that make the show well rounded. There is a lot going on with the railroad and I can foresee a lot of corruption. Along side the romances I am interested in seeing what happens between Lee and Gown and the railroad situation. I wonder if they put in that story line (non-romantic) to attract the male viewers? My hubby watches the show with me and he’s more interested in that then whose in love with who. LOL!

My husband does comment on the clothing they wear. He thinks that some things people wear look more modern. He specifically mentioned a black jacket Jack was wearing and what appeared to be a fuzzy light blue jacket Abigail was wearing. I’m so focused on the story lines and scenery that I don’t really pay full attention to all those subtle things. I suppose he has a point. In that train of thought Elizabeth’s dresses are way too pretty and colorful to be walking around in all the dirt and mud. She always looks exceptionally clean. There is not a speck of mud on any of her dresses – except when the farmer’s wagon drove through mud and splashed her dress at the homestead when she was caring for the children.

I really like that this show is wholesome. It’s not like a real soap opera where this one is sleeping with that one, and people are doing drugs, committing horrific crimes and the like. I also like that there is no nudity and foul language. It’s a nice, “relaxing,” show to enjoy on a Saturday night.

If you would like to learn more about When Calls the Heart visit www.HallmarkChannel.com/When-Calls-the-Heart.

You can check out the series on Facebook and Twitter. There is even a special Facebook group specially for fans of the show called the When Calls the Heart “Hearties” Facebook group.

The official hashtags for the show are #WhenCallstheHeart and #Hearties.

Look for When Calls the Heart on the Hallmark Channel Saturday nights at 8:00 PM (EST) / 7:00 PM (CST). Please check your local television guide for the channel.

Are you a fan of the series? What story line most interests you on the show? Do you have a favorite character?

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Kimberly

*I have partnered with the Hallmark Channel to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. I also received season one on DVD in order to help me catch up to date on the series. 

 

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Raise the “ruff” for 48 hours of “pawsome” entertainment from Nat Geo WILD

 

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Attention dog owners and dog lovers – Nat Geo WILD is hosting a weekend full of “pawsome” programming that celebrate’s man’s best friend.

The weekend kicks off tonight (May 15, 2015) and concludes on May 17, 2015. It’s affectionately referred to as “Barkfest.”

Check out the Barkfest program line up.

FRIDAY, MAY 15:

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World’s Greatest Dogs – Friday, May 15 at 8 PM ET/PT

These are the stories of extraordinary dogs: a surfing therapy dog, a bionic dog, a dog with the world record in scootering, and many more. We’ll meet these incredible canines and their dedicated owners.

 

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Cesar 911 Season Finale – Friday, May 15 at 9 PM ET/PT

Cesar rushes to the aid of Joe, a frantic husband and father.

 

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Is Your Dog A Genius? Doggy See, Doggy Doo – Friday, May 15 at 10 PM ET/PT

Is your dog a born genius? Or can you make him one? Duke University dog scientist Dr. Brian Hare uses his groundbreaking research to help dog owners better understand their canine companions. This interactive series will help dog owners everywhere unlock their canine’s true potential.

 

SATURDAY, MAY 16: 

The Incredible Dr. Pol: Dog-A-POL-oozaSaturday, May 16 at 8 PM ET/PT

In this special episode of The Incredible Dr. Pol, it’s all dogs all day this week at Pol Veterinary Services!

Unlikely Animal Friends: Bark-Tacular – Saturday, May 16 at 9 PM ET/PT

We’ll take a look at some of the most amazing unlikely friendships that prove that dogs are more than just man’s best friend!

Is Your Dog a Genius? Who’s Your Doggy? – Saturday, May 16 at 10 PM ET/PT

Can your dog outsmart you? Does he bend the rules behind your back? Duke University dog scientists Dr. Brian Hare has developed a series of scientific test to reveal your dog’s unique strategies and help you improved your relationship with her.

 

SUNDAY, MAY 17 

World’s Greatest Dogs– Sunday, May 17 at 8 PM ET/PT (encore airing) 

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Super Underdogs – Sunday, May 17 at 9 PM ET/PT

From smallest to largest, from longest ears to longest tongue, from unique shapes to most muscles. These are the stories of the worlds’ most extreme looking dogs.

 

Is Your Dog A Genius? Talk Doggy To Me – Sunday, May 17 at 10 PM ET/PT

Dogs and humans share a social bond unlike any two species on the planet. But how does your dog really feel about you? Based on his groundbreaking research, Dr. Brian Hare has created a series of games to help you better understand your canine companion.

 

It looks like a lot of fantastic programming this weekend.

You don’t have to be a dog owner to appreciate these programs.

We have a dog (Espn). I have always had a dog for as long as I can remember. At one point when I was younger my family had three dogs. I miss all my dogs. They all lived long, happy and almost healthy lives (one dog, Sparky, had bone cancer and passed away when he was three years old).

I hope you’ll tune in and enjoy a “furtastic” weekend of doggy programs on Nat Geo WILD.

For more information about this or other Nat Geo WILD programming please visit Channel.NationalGeographic.com/WILD. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter (NatGeoWild on both).

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Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted. 

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Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart’s Jack and Elizabeth

 

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Hallmark Channel’s popular series, When Calls the Heart, is well into it’s second season. Have you been watching?

If you are not familiar with the series, here is a brief synopsis.

The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West. When Calls the Heart tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coal mining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a turn of the century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.

Season One is already available on DVD if you would like to enjoy the series from the beginning.

I didn’t watch the series from the beginning, but I did receive season one on DVD so I could get up to date on the series so when season two started a few weeks ago I was caught up with everything that was going on.

When Calls the Heart is NOT a typical series that I would watch. I’m more into half hour comedy shows. The only series I watch faithfully is The Walking Dead. Needless to say When Calls the Heart could not be any further from a Zombie apocalypse. LOL!

The series, When Calls the Heart, is also set in another time. Specifically the 19th century. Things were so much different back then.

Jack and Elizabeth

 

I know that this sounds odd, but I think placing the series back in that time period adds to the romantic factor of the show. When I think about two of the main characters, Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) and Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), and comparing them to the series and then trying to imagine them today (2015), there is no question that their romance is much more magical set back in the 19th century. Thinking about them with laptops, cellphones and today’s modern conveniences would take away from their genuine attraction towards one another.

I’m not into romance stories (case in point – I love zombie things), however watching When Calls the Heart has changed that for me. I find myself hooked on the relationship between Jack and Elizabeth. I don’t think I cared so much about a couple since Luke and Laura from General Hospital back in the day.

I love that viewers could see that they were destined to be together from their first meeting. There was a “spark” that made you believe that these two were going to end up together some how.

I also like that they initially didn’t get along, but then turned into friends. I think relationships that develop from friendships are the best kind because they have “staying power.” My husband is my best friend. We were friends before we started dating. We’ll be married almost 20 years (as of 2016).

As with any relationship, real or television ones, there are challenges. There are other people who could possibly stand in their way, like Elizabeth’s parents and their choice for their daughter, Charles Kensington. Not to mention Jack’s fiancee, Rosemary. Will true love conquer all?

I should also mention that Jack looks SO GOOD in his Canadian Mountie uniform. Who wouldn’t fall in love with him. He’s handsome, heroic, kind and romantic. If Elizabeth doesn’t want him, I’ll take him. Ha Ha.

WCTH Jack

Not for nothing Elizabeth is gorgeous too. I love her hair (I wish I had hair like hers) and the beautiful outfits she wears.

Now that I have been watching their romance play out on television I am “hooked” on the show and excited to see what happens next. Not only with Elizabeth and Jack (they are the #1 reason why I watch the show) but also to see what happens with the rest of the people in Coal Valley.

To learn more visit the shows official website, www.HallmarkChannel.com/When-Calls-the-Heart.

Check them out here – When Calls the Heart “Hearties” Facebook Group.

The series also has an official Facebook page as well as a Twitter account. You can also check out what others are saying about the show using the hashtags #WhenCallstheHeart and #Hearties.

When Calls the Heart airs on Saturdays on the Hallmark Channel at 8:00 EST / 7:00 CST. Please check your local television guide for the channel.

Do you watch When Calls the Heart? Do you have a favorite character and/or story line? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

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Kimberly

*Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. In addition I received season one on DVD free in order to do a review. 

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I Love Lucy: I Love Mom Edition – A great Mother’s Day gift

 

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Are you looking for a fun and unique gift idea for Mother’s Day? Whether your mom is a fan of the popular television series I Love Lucy or not, she might enjoy this sweet special edition of the classic show.

The I Love Lucy: I Love Mom Edition is available today on DVD from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media. It features four mom-related episodes.

Lucy is Enceinte – This is a classic episode. I have seen this one dozens of times.

Lucy is not feeling well and visits the doctor only to find out that she is unexpectedly pregnant.

Lucy has dreamed of this day all her life and had it planned out in her head how she wanted to tell Ricky. Sadly every effort she makes to tell him is thwarted by phone calls, lunch and even band practice.

Lucy goes to his club, Tropicana, later on that night to tell him but it turns out to be a lot differently than she has planned.

Lucy Goes to the Hospital – In this episode Lucy goes to the hospital to give birth to their child. Of course nothing can go exactly as planned when it come to Lucy Ricardo. Needless to say a lot of chaos ensues.

I have seen the series over and over again but I actually never saw this episode until now. It’s a very special episode too so you would think it would air more frequently.

I Love Lucy

No Children Allowed – Lucy and everyone else in the building is losing sleep with little Ricky crying all the time, including Mr. Trumball who points out that the building’s lease agreement specifies that no children are allowed. Will the Ricardos have to move? Check out the episode to find out.

Nursery School – Lucy finds that little Ricky tires her out. Ricky thinks it’s time for little Ricky to attend nursery school, but Lucy can’t fathom the though of being away from her son. No sooner does she cave the Ricardos find that little Ricky needs his tonsils taken out and needs to go to the hospital. Poor Lucy can’t handle the idea of little Ricky going to nursery school – you can only imagine how she takes to the idea of her baby in the hospital without her.

Most moms can relate to all four of these episodes – from the moment you find out you are pregnant to the first time your little one is away from you. That is why this special collection makes for a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. You don’t have to be an I Love Lucy fan to appreciate these episodes.

This DVD collection also comes in a special edition packaging that celebrates motherhood.

Look for I Love Lucy: I Love Mom Edition where ever most movies are sold.

Are you are fan of I Love Lucy? What do you think about this collection. Feel free to share your thoughts.

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Kimberly

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

 

 

 

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Nickelodeon’s Preschool Literacy Series, Wallykazam, now available on DVD

 

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I’m not totally up-to-date on what that popular television series are for children these days since my kids are older. I do work children so I often hear about TV shows through them and judging by what kids talk about I can sort of tell what series are very popular with little ones.

One show I have heard the kids talk about often is Wallykazam! To be honest I have never watched the show (I never seem to catch it on TV) but I did take a peek at the new Wallykazam! DVD I was sent to review.

Oh my! It’s too cute. I think Wally is adorable, as is his best friend Norville.

I can see why this series is popular. It’s about a boy and his pet dragon. A lot of kids I know are really into How to Train Your Dragon, and this series is kind of along the same lines of that.

Available TODAY (April 28, 2015) is the DVD appropriately titled Wallykazam!

Nickelodeon’s hit preschool literacy series Wallykazam! makes its DVD debut on April 28, 2015.  The series follows the adventures of Wally and his pet dragon, Norville, who live in a forest among giants, goblins and other fantastical creatures. Wally has a magic stick that makes words come to life on the screen playfully transforming the world around him. Wallykazam! is Nickelodeon’s first preschool series that embeds a literacy curriculum into a full-length story, introducing skills such as letter and sound identification, rhyming, vocabulary development and comprehension strategies.  Each of the four adventures features a new set of words and the DVD contains a free gift with purchase of customizable Wallykazam! name labels while supplies last. Created by Nickelodeon and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, Wallykazam! is available on DVD for the suggested retail price of $14.99.

Wallykazam! includes the following episodes:

  • Naptime for Borgelorp – Wally uses magic words to help tire out Ogre Doug’s hyper and unpredictable pet Borgelorp.
  • Castle Caper – Wally must oust Bobgoblin from a castle intended for his pet dragon, Norville.
  • Victor the Villain – While pretending to be superheroes, Wally and Norville decide they need a real villain to match wits with and conjure up, Victor the Villain.
  • The Switching Stone – Wally, Norville and Gina Giant find a magical “switching stone” that’s a lot of fun until it turns Bobgoblin into a giant.

Running Time: 92 Minutes

Fans of the show will enjoy this new DVD collection of Wallykazam! episodes.

The songs are not annoying like the are with some kiddie shows.

As a parent I really like how the show teaches kids letters and simple words to help prepare them to read. I actually wish a show like this was around when my kids were little. I think they way they teach kids are along the same lines as one of my most favorite children’s shows of all times – Sesame Street.

Look for Wallykazam! where ever DVDs are sold.

Is your family a fan of Wallykazam! Have you seen the show? What do you think about it? Feel free to share your thoughts.

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Kimberly

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

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