ABC Mouse Subscription

As most mom’s know, we are trying to find ways to keep our young ones learning, entertained, and, for just one moment, occupied while we try and do anything around the house! We also want to see our kids using technology in a way that is more than mind numbing television or video games. We want sustenance for their little minds!

Enter ABC Mouse.

I’m sure you’ve seen the ads as much as I have, especially if you’ve even thought the words “homeschool” or “kids at home learning”. HOW DO THEY KNOW?!

I finally caved because I was tired of hearing other apps being used on my five year old daughter’s tablet that were nowhere near educational. The ABC Mouse app at least has a purpose to teach the child something.

Again, I digress.

When I first got the app for my daughter, she’d play for a few minutes then look for her other apps. I’d redirect her and get her back on the learning path, but I think it is beneficial to all considering the app to know there is a motivational aspect to it that I had to explain to my daughter.

To keep the child engaged, ABC Mouse has a built in reward system. For every module they complete, they receive tickets for in app “purchases”. (They cannot buy tickets with real cash. I checked. They gotta do the work!) These “purchases” are for their virtual classroom, in app pets, and avatar clothes and home decorations. Money is a concept my daughter is still learning, so explaining the tickets and what they could be used for helped tremendously to motivate her and do the work!

Her current favorite thing to do is buy stuff for her avatar’s house. She was having fun buying up all the class pets and coloring by numbers, but we’ve moved on to decorating!

Overall, I think my daughter and I are both happy with the app and it’s teaching ability as well as it’s engaging qualities. I would recommend it to Mom’s looking for a way to keep their kids learning. I would just add, be on the lookout for the best discount code. There are a lot of them!

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 3

Rachel Brosnahan in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017)I LOVE THIS SHOW!

If you know nothing else about me, just know that I love The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Amazon Original Series. The writing, the casting and acting, the cinematography; beautiful, perfect, and amazing! The only thing I can complain about is the length of the season! Eight episodes! Eight! It used to be ten; now, it’s eight! Give me back my ten episode long seasons!

Well, the story line left some heartburn this season also. Click MORE if you want to know why.

Read More »

IAAP Summit: Series & Logistics

Welcome to the IAAP Summit Series! The next few posts will be all about the Summit experience and how I managed to get the most out of my attendance. If you don’t know what IAAP is, hop over to their site with this link. For those of you who are familiar, let me explain why I found the Summit valuable!

PROS:

The entire conference was in one place. My lodging, food options, other entertainment, and the conference/ training classes were all on the Gaylord Hotel. It was so convenient and easy to attend, and I felt at ease not having to worry about finding a place to eat or what I was going to do when I wasn’t in class.

Huge classrooms! I mean, most of the conference rooms were referred to as ballrooms, so let’s just out that into perspective. A total of 1,300 people showed up to the Summit, so it was paramount to have these large rooms. There was never a time I felt crowded or a room overpopulated.

Standing desks are a huge deal in my office right now. The flexibility to go from standing to siting every couple of hours is not only good for your health, but it is also a smart commodity to keep you audience awake and engaged. Creates more room for people as well!

There were so many great presenters/topics! My favorite two were Vonetta and Julia. Vonetta Watson provided many technical topics that I loved! Her courses were amazing overviews on the latest office software, tips and tricks! Julia Kristina spoke about difficult people, but with a twist. Her words are still ringing in my ears: “There aren’t difficult people; only difficult situations in which you have a choice to react to.” Overall, the sessions were impactful!

As I mentioned, there were about 1,300 attendees at the Summit. That’s a lot of people! During the opening ceremony, there was a presentation of flags for all the attending participants countries. Such diversity! It was amazing to see and meet so many different people!

CONS:

I found it interesting that there wasn’t a lot of complimentary items for attendees. Even water that was provided was scarce. Sitting in a class all day without water is like sleeping with your mouth open. Your mouth gets dry, and you become distracted by your basic physical need. I’m sure the point was to make people buy their water, but what a waste of plastic!

Even thought some of the classrooms had standing desks, they were fee and far between. They were advertised as if every room had it, but that was not the case.

While most topics were amazing, and I was dedicated to ensure I found at least one useful bit in every session, there were a very few topics that were dry. One in particular was about document retention. I don’t believe it was the speakers fault as the course matter is dry, so it was one that I think should be scratched for the next go around.

Overall, the Summit receives a solid 9.5 out of 10 for me! This experience was amazing from a networking view, an educational opportunity, and an overall wonderful conference! I truly hope that I am able to continue to attend in the years to come.

Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot

I am absolutely in love with this wine right now. When I first saw it in the supermarket, I was actually looking for the Arbor Mist version of this flavor. Whenever I’m craving a sweet wine, my absolute go to had been Arbor Mist as their blends seem to be more sugary. Well, when I came upon the Arbor Mist bottle, the store had jacked up the price to $6 for a 750mL! Craziness! I enjoy this wine, but the greedy jerks were just taking advantage of their customers.

I kept looking, thinking I was going to go for a red Moscato instead when I happened upon the Wild Vines version. I was skeptical at first as seeing a bottle for $3.50 was low even for my standard, but I figured, what the hay!

Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot is meant to be served chilled, so I waited until the next evening to try the bouquet. The moment it hit my tongue I knew. It was my new favorite! The sweet tones of the blackberry married with the dark Merlot grapes gave it a bold taste, and unlike Arbor Mist, it wasn’t as sugary as I thought it would be with it’s subtle hint of bitterness. 

I was in love! Still am, but guess what I happened upon at the grocery store this weekend when searching out my wine. They had rasied the price on this one, too! I don’t drink that much wine, maybe a bottle a month, so I can’t be the cause of the higher price due to my high demand! 

Guess I may be back on the market for a new brand soon. Until then, I’ll enjoy my $5.99 Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot a bit longer.

Movie Review – Boss Baby

IMDB: Sethe-boss-baby-718x1024ven-year-old Tim Templeton has always been a boy of an overactive imagination, and for the past seven years, life was all peaches for him, getting all the love and affection from his caring parents. However, life will never be the same and Tim won’t be the centre of attention anymore as the arrival of an improbable new brother named Boss Baby, dressed in a black suit complete with a tie and a briefcase, will shortly rob him of all love, as he takes over the whole Templetons’ house. Nevertheless, although this may be true, soon, Tim and the new Boss in a diaper will need to put differences aside and join forces, as a sneaky scheme involving the head of Puppy Co. threatens to tilt the balance of power towards their insidiously adorable furry antagonists, not to mention that the next Pet Convention is in only two days.. Brothers, hurry up.

Rating: 4 of 5

I really don’t understand how this movie got such low ratings. My husband and I were actually very surprised with how much we enjoyed this film. My daughter also liked it! And that is saying something! (Babies and puppies! How could it not interest her?)

Holding aside the lighthearted-ness of the kid-centric movie, I believe it really dove into a large issue many parents and kids face: new babies/siblings. I can’t tell you how many times I pointed out the way the main character, a seven year old boy, was feeling towards his new baby brother to my husband and said, “See, kids do think like that!” I get that it is just a movie, but I believe every child goes through these thoughts and feelings of having less mommy-daddy time than they did before the new baby came, so it was solidified in this film.

This coverage alone should have won it more favor with critics in my opinion because it actually held merit to a real issue. I guess that is why I’m not a critic; I can never guess what they will like and won’t, and they will never know what I will like and won’t, either. This movie was definitely a like!

 

Game of Thrones – Season 7 Episode 1

HERE WE GO!

I am a diehard GOT fan! I admittedly found the show before the books, and I have yet to finish the novel series, but I do aim to one day complete them. The show, on the other hand, I have been a fan of since day one! The actors are perfectly cast. The plot is well driven. And, even though there are so many characters to get to know, I have love for them all. Some I hate, but deservedly so (aka Bolton’s!). I have even found a Game of Thrones wine that helped christen this episode tonight! A review on that part of the night to come.

This series has me captivated, and I cannot wait to see how this season unfolds as we gear up for the final season. Now, on to the review of the episode!

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***

Read More »

Game of Thrones Season 7 is coming!

One week people! In less than one week, we will have the next season of GOT!game-of-thrones

I’m over the moon excited! I cannot wait for the continuance of this series as I have so many questions, and so much anticipation for what is to become of these characters. Let’ be honest, I think we all want to know what is going to happen between House Baratheon/Lannister versus House Stark and maybe House Targaryen, but it may very well be versus, too. Not to mention the looming White Walker battle! So much to cover, so much giddiness! Hurry up!!

All the while, I’m also silently agitated that this season is only going to be seven episodes! What the actual eff?! How are they going to fit everything in that will need to be covered as the pre-face to the FINAL SEASON in seven episodes?! There will not be any time for filler or facial expression captures. It is going to have to be BAM, BAM, BAMMM!! Action, movement, continuous scenes driving the story forward in order to capture everything they will need to in order to bring some type of closure to the series.

All I am going to say is, they better not end it how they ended Black Sails because I couldn’t even bring myself to write about it. I want real closure, real fictional justice and a happily ever after. Do not give me this open ended crap! Like what happened to Madi? Who took possession of the island? Close the darn series, and let me live my life without questioning what is going to happen to Jon or Daenerys!

Sorry, bringing back my sanity now. Stupid Black Sails..

I will be posting weekly about the episodes in hopes that we can get through this maddeningly short season together. I can only image we will be left with more questions than answers, but by golly, at least we will have each other!

New season of Game of Thrones to begin July 16 on HBO.

 

Movie Review: Let’s Be Cops

IMDb: It’s the ultimate buddy cop movie except for one thing: they’re not cops. MV5BMjI3MDY2ODQwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjUzNjE4MTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_When two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party, they become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.

I’m really late on this one, but I just had to share a few thoughts.

I believe the main theme of the movie was to say that it is never too late to find yourself and take responsibility for your life. Now, that might be a bit heavier than the actual message, but I just need to get this off of my chest.Read More »

Movie Review: Assassin’s Creed

Back before my husband and I became parents, we had all the time in the world to play video games (him) and watch movies/T.V. (me), but now its a rare occasion, and typically only when it is paid for such as gift cards for his games or friends lending us movies to watch, etc. Makes us sound cheap, but it’s just not what we choose to spend money on anymore. Every now and then we get to combine our interests and spend time doing what we both like.

Assassin’s Creed was supposed to be that perfect mix. It wasn’t.assassin_s_creed_movie_poster_2016_by_fincher7-dad26yg

IMDb: Through Abstergo a company that creates a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha (Aguilar Of Nerha), in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins and Templars, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

IMDb Rating: 6.1/10

My Rating: 4.5/10

***SPOILERS***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***Read More »