Friday, March 27, 2015

Disney's Cinderella ~ What Did I think and is it for Little Girls?

My sweet princess and I had the wonderful opportunity to preview Cinderella before it came out. You can now see it in theaters everywhere and I definitely would recommend it hands down! Whenever live action movies come out, especially ones where they are recreating an animation classic, I pause. Will they do it justice and will it be appropriate for my daughter? We've been watching live action movies for a little while now - we go for the classics and so far haven't been disappointed, but new is different.



First off Disney did a fabulous job casting. I was a little bit concerned at first, but whoa..blow me out of the water! Disney captured the sweet without being too much you know. I was most impressed by Cate Blanchett. Her ability to be so beautiful while being so horrid and ugly was amazing. Disney has this way of making these ugly/beautiful evil queens, witches and bad guys. It messed with your brain because its not what you expected from Cate as an actor. Simply marvelous! The step-sisters were also cast well and I thought they were perfectly silly!

The one part that kinda did fit was the Fairy Godmother. She was kind of a dingbat and it did not fit with the rest of movie or the image I had of the Fairy Godmother in my mind. I'm not sure why Disney chose to go that way, but it didn't ruin the movie experience or anything.



Fair warning - the movie is sad. They did cover over it like the animated versions do. Its out there and up front and people mourn. Its sad! I was really worried about how this might impact Ladybug but she didn't really care. I'm going to take that as a parenting win! Maybe that meas she's well-adjusted with a good understanding of life. Or maybe she's only six and who really cares. But, can I just take the win anyway?

5 out of 5 Stars
This will become a part of the household DVD Library!

We received this opportunity from Blue Star Families, whom I volunteer with in the DC Metro area. If you are a military family or a military supporter, or connected in any way, please look into volunteering with Blue Star Families. They are all over the United States and abroad! check it out here.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How Irish are You? Noble, The Movie #SheIsNoble

The quiz and giveaway are made possible by the new film, NOBLE, about Christina Noble, an Irishwoman who's saved over 700,000 orphans in Vietnam. Deirdre O'Kane and Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates on Downtown Abbey) star in the award-winning film.

 

After seeing the trailer for this movie, man, its going to be a tear-jerker. I want to read the book too. What an incredible story. I think its wonderful that it is being shared as a movie....and seriously, Mr. Bates? Sign me up!! Has anyone else heard of this or read the book yet? I want to hear all about it if you have.

 Visit the Movie Website to learn more about the #SHEISNOBLE campaign

While we are waiting for the movie to come out I have a few things to keep us all preoccupied.
First - Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Take this fun quiz to see how Irish you are! http://thenoblemovie.com/how-irish-are-you/

I know I have some Irish in me. I began research on it and have it partially completed. Once the kids are a little older I hope to dive back into that!


And Secondly, I have an amazing cool prize pack for you to win. The Noble Movie prize pack features some awesome items signed by Brenden Coyle (Mr. Bates) himself, and a World of Downton Abbey hardback book. Good luck!


**I received a prize pack in exchange for participating in this campaign. I was not compensated in any other way. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Thomas the Train comes to Baltimore {Baltimore, MD} #DCNoVAadventures


A Day Out With Thomas is coming to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, and while it is an expensive outing, this penny-pinching mom thinks it is well worth every penny!



We first heard about A Day Out With Thomas last year, at the height of our Thomas obsession. The stars aligned - hubby was home, we loved Thomas and I had a special coupon code. I hesitated for half a second only because it isn't cheap, but I knew this would be a special family day experience. We had never been to the museum there, however I had heard that it was a pretty cool place to visit for train loving people. There are several vintage trains to venture into, a hands on station for the kids, lego and train building stations and docents. As part of the special "TDO" events there were pictures with Sir Topham Hat and story times. These were both organized extremely well, with fast moving lines and pleasant workers. We weren't forced through the lines either. The kids got to hug him, high-five him and we took our own pictures! That was a pleasant surprise.






The fun didn't stop there. Once you headed outside there was a whole world of fun waiting for you! There were several rides for the kids (that usually cost money but were included in the special admission). They had bounce houses set up as well as musical entertainment. Outside they had food vendors that were fairly reasonable and places set up to eat.





The ride on Thomas was an in and out type deal, and actually the policeman on their motorbikes were quite the entertainment. The kids loved them!!

There was plenty of staff, lots of security and the organization was fabulous!



If you are looking for a very special experience in your hometown you can't find anything better than this. It was a wonderful time and I would absolutely, four star, recommend this event to you. Grab your tickets soon!

Thomas is coming to Baltimore April 24-26th and May 1=3rd
You can purchase tickets here 


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Thursday, March 5, 2015

I want to Live in Music Video....

You've seen those music videos. You know, the ones that have everything - the music is right, the story is right, the feel is right. You'd give anything to catapult yourself into the video because, seriously, it looks like so much fun! I had this feeling recently and I figured there are about a million more music videos that would come to mind if I thought about it. Think about it and make your list! I'd love to hear it.

So, without further adieu, the five videos I'd give anything to live in...in no particular order

1. Boy' Round Here - Blake Shelton ~ come on, doesn't it look fun? Country, a little hip hop, dancing, house party..its a dream!



2. Bang Bang - Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicky Minaj ~ I feel like its self-explanatory. I mean, street dancing, a good beat..Hello!



3. (You Drive Me) Crazy - Britney Spears ~ no list could really be complete without Brittney Spears; and while I know Baby Baby is iconic, Crazy is pretty awesome and one of my favorite. It was also a pretty awesome late 90's movie.



4. The Right Stuff - New Kids on the Block ~ can I just be one of the girls in the video? I mean, seriously, who wouldn't want to run around in a cemetery with Joey Mac? I know I would.....


5. Bigger - Backstreet Boys ~ a list that I make that didn't include BSB wouldn't really be a list. And while I can't think of one I wouldn't want to be in, this one just look particularly fun. Its one of their newer songs and it most takes place in the streets of Japan (where their longest and most dedicated fan base has been). But a fairly good portion of it takes place in Karaoke bars. So fun right?



Leave me your favorite!! I want to know where you would live if you could?


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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

MommyCon is Coming To a Town Near You! *discount code*

I'm so excited to be attending MommyCon this year! Also, exciting to announce that I am an officially MommyCon blogger this year. It was such an exciting opportunity to be a part of that I just couldn't resist.



If you've never been to one of these events let me give you the run down:

MommyCon is a "boutique-style convention" with Natural and Organic parenting topics and products as the primary theme. You can expect to see seminars and demonstrations along those same lines, as well as a ton of products to peruse. As if that wasn't enough there will be giftbags and amazing giveaways!

 
awesome babywearing seminar

The MommyCon Atlanta, the next top of the tour, is going to be chock-full of some really amazing things. Make sure to check out the full, newly-released, schedule of events.  But here's a few little tidbits:

Cotton Babies will be there with a Cloth Diaper 101, The Baby Guy NYC (whom I love, love love) will be there with a little car seat safety discussion for you and there will be a ton of babywearing seminars and discussions (like the picture above). You can expect to see more of the same, amazing things at the other stops along the tour.

Be sure to stay tuned here on the blog as I will be starting to post a ton of related topics from my perspective, and sharing my experiences; as well as sharing with you all about MommyCon as it travels through the US the rest of this year.

If you would like to purchase a MommyCon ticket for one of the Convention I have a code for you guys! Use Cammo15 for $5 off your ticket!

MommyCon 2015

Minneapolis - April 15, 2015
Orlando -May 23, 2015
Washington, DC - August 22, 2015
Columbus, OH - September 19, 2015

Have you ever been to MommyCon? I want to hear about it! Maybe I'll see you at MommyCon DC!


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Monday, March 2, 2015

Military Monday: Rhe's Bookshelf Reviews 'blue stars', by Emily Gray Tedrowe

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blue stars, by Emily Gray Tedrowe

summary:

BLUE STARS brings to life the realities of the modern day home front: how to get through the daily challenges of motherhood and holding down a job while bearing the stress and uncertainty of war, when everything can change in an instant. It tells the story of Ellen, a Midwestern literature professor, who is drawn into the war when her legal ward Michael enlists as a Marine; and of Lacey, a proud Army wife who struggles to pay the bills and keep things going for her son while her husband is deployed. Ellen and Lacey cope with the fear and stress of a loved one at war while trying to get by in a society that often ignores or misunderstands what war means to women today. When Michael and Eddie are injured in Iraq, Ellen and Lacey’s lives become intertwined in Walter Reed Army Hospital, where each woman must live while caring for her wounded soldier. They form an alliance, and an unlikely friendship, while helping each other survive the dislocated world of the army hospital. Whether that means fighting for proper care for their men, sharing a six-pack, or coping with irrevocable loss, Ellen and Lacey pool their strengths to make it through. In the end, both women are changed, not only by the war and its fallout, but by each other.

review:

I feel like there is a part of me that still hasn't decided how I feel about this book. I wanted to love every single page of it, but I had a difficult time really investing myself in this book. Knowing many of these amazing families (families of wounded) myself I was really hoping to see a more accurate description of their lives. I'm not sure if it was the hyper-political feelings that came through in the book or the fact that while I am sure there are family members that are very similiar to the characters in the book, I felt like these were an extreme portrayal with very stereotypical and somewhat negative personality traits. Having never been through the experiences myself, I guess I can't actually say for certain. The meat of the book was really those pages inspired by the controversy at Walter Reed in the mid-2000s. That part of the book was very well portrayed, but I felt it got lost. I just wasn't quite sure how I felt about this book, mostly because I think I had such high hopes for it. While the author herself isn't a military spouse, she is the sister of Marine. I had no inkling that the novel would be discussing injury either, it took awhile to figure out the direction of it. I had never read a novel about military life, that wasn't a romance before, so perhaps maybe I was excited to see a part of my life come out from the pages of this book. 

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. 

**I received an Advance Reader's copy of this book. I was not compensated in any other way; and as always my thoughts and my opinions are my own. 
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Sunday, February 15, 2015

More Cheap Date Nights in Washington, DC

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Washington DC, and the surround DC Metro Area, can be ridiculously expensive. There is also a ton to do here. There are so many amazing places to eat, museums, history (or otherwise) sites to see. Some days Mr. Air Force and I think that we could see something different every day and never repeat anything for years. It can be overwhelming and a little intense on your wallet. So how can you get away with some time together on the cheap, or for the least amount of money.
1. DC By Foot - This is a really cool concept. This is a "no-fee upfront" tour guide company. Yes, you heard me. It's basically free! Theoretically you could take the tour, say good bye and that would be the end of it. Pay what you think the guide deserves, earned, or tip them. You have so many options and I absolutely love it. There are your typical Arlington Cemetery, National Mall and Capitol tours. This company also does more unique tours including food and photography ones. There's a calendar on the website so you can see what is coming up.


This is a Georgetown self-guided tour that we've personally done ourselves. On that night the hubby and I ventured to Martin's Tavern ( one of my favorite places to eat in DC ) and then kept up the Kennedy theme by checking out the local landmarks associated with the Kennedy family. You can find out more about this in my first "Cheap Date Nights...." post.

 

3. Geocaching is one of our newest discoveries. We haven't been doing it for very long but it is a lot of fun, and Mr. Air Force is really good at it. You can do this basically anywhere, so even if you don't live in DC, you are good to go. We even did it while on vacation. Apple has an app, and I'm sure other carriers as well. The free membership is perfectly suitable for anyone, but you can upgrade to the premium version for a small subscription fee.

one of our first caches

4. Embassy Tours from CulturalTourismDC

There are tons of events held in different embassies all across the city.  If you wanted to see the inside of some of these places, now's your chance!

5. Sittercity for Military

Have you ever heard of sittercitty? If you haven't you're missing out! I've been using them since my oldest was little. It has saved us when we were somewhere without family or friends to help us out. I love the program, I love the background checks that are included in the free membership. The people at Sittercity are amazing as well. They are always looking for ways to improve this program and it is just so cool. Use it!

All that being said, I wanted to also encourage you to rely on your friends, especially when you are in a place without friends or family. I remember my parents doing that and its always been a part of who I am. It creates a better community and encourages relationships that are deeper and more amazing. I whole heartedly encourage you to do that!


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