Saturday, May 7, 2016

Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood DVD Review

Disclosure: Warner Bros. Home Video provided me with some of the materials I used in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

Press Release Synopsis:
In LEGO® Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood, the gang heads to the entertainment capital of the world, Hollywood, where they take a tour of the legendary Brickton Studios, a historic Hollywood movie studio. While visiting the lot, the gang is surprised to find the once powerful film studio has fallen onto hard times. Neglected and in disrepair, Brickton, which has lost its luster, now faces threats of closure and an impending sale to greedy developers who want to tear it down. 

To top it off, the Mystery Inc. gang discovers that the studio’s backlot is haunted by the ghost of Boris Karnak, a famous, old-time movie actor who has been making ghostly appearances in the roles he once made famous – including the Headless Horseman, the Mummy and the Zombie. The ghostly sightings have frightened away the cast and crew of Brickton’s latest film production, which was the studio’s final effort in trying to save the company from going under. Now with production halted on the movie which was supposed to rescue Brickton from its demise, it looks as though the famous backlot is destined to fall into the hands of the developers after all. Will it be a wrap for Brickton or will Scooby and the gang find a way to help the studio achieve box-office success? It’s a “bricktacular” adventure no Scooby-Doo! fan will want to miss! 

Our thoughts: Since my boys love Legos and they also love Scooby-Doo, I knew that they would be excited to watch Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood. Some weekends seem so busy, but this weekend we made the time to sit down and watch the movie. Both of my boys, as well as myself, enjoyed the movie. I'm always entertained with the different traps that Fred comes up with, as well as trying to guess who the villain or villains may be. I love watching Scooby-Doo with my boys, because it reminds me of watching it as a child. This movie comes out on Blu-ray Combo, DVD, and Digital HD on May 10.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Our Adventures with Autism

As I looked at my blog recently, I was a little surprised that the last time I blogged was December 2015. I hadn't decided to stop blogging, but I guess life got in the way and a new adventure started.

In November of 2015, my youngest son, Little C, was diagnosed with autism. If you asked me if I was surprised, honestly I would have to say no. I didn't even know that much about autism at the time, but a part of me suspected that he might have it.

Since he was two and was evaluated for Early Intervention, he was showing development delays.  At two, he hardly talked, however, he could say any letter of the alphabet for you if you randomly showed him one. So we had him evaluated and he started receiving Speech and Physical Therapy. We were surprised when he qualified for PT because we did not realize he was behind.

When he turned three, he no longer qualified for speech, but he still received PT. In April, our pediatrician recommended that we have him tested at the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for his developmental delays. We started the paperwork to have him tested but it wouldn't be until November that he would be seen.

Little C started preschool in the fall and we started noticing that he was showing signs of Sensory Processing Disorder. It was finally in November when we received the diagnosis that Little C had high-functioning autism. I don't think we were that surprised because we recognized some of the signs.  He often did not make eye contact when he spoke to us, he had a great vocabulary but had trouble answering questions, he needed routine, and was showing little pretend play.

These past few months have been an adventure. In December, he was tested for OT and qualified. Both his OT and PT work with his sensory issues. We have been introduced to brushing techniques. We have been challenged with meltdowns. We have been blessed with a little boy who sees the world differently.

My viewpoint on parenting has changed as well. I could remember times when I may have seen a kid have a meltdown in a store. I use to think can't those parents control their kids. Now I am sympathetic, because that could be me one day. I realize that my son's meltdowns, unlike a tamper tantrum, can  not not be controlled. They can happen at any time. I don't quite understand how his sensory issues effect his life, but I realize that they challenge him as well.

At first, I think people were surprised with his diagnosis. When I showed my students a picture of him and talked about his autism, a few mentioned he doesn't look like he has autism. I responded what does autism look like? As I research more and more, I realize that every child with autism is going to be different. I realize that I will be taking on a role of advocate for my son. I realize that times will be challenging. But I also realize that God has blessed me with an incredible child who helps me to see the world a little bit differently.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Pan" Review

Disclosure: I received a copy of the movie to review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and are my honest opinion of the movie. 
Press Release Synopsis:
Peter (Levi Miller) is a mischievous 12-year-old boy with an irrepressible rebellious streak, but in the bleak London orphanage where he has lived his whole life those qualities do not exactly fly. Then one incredible night, Peter is whisked away from the orphanage and spirited off to a fantastical world of pirates, warriors and fairies called Neverland. There, he finds amazing adventures and fights life-or-death battles while trying to uncover the secret of his mother, who left him at the orphanage so long ago, and his rightful place in this magical land. Teamed with the warrior Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and a new friend named James Hook (Garrett Hedlund), Peter must defeat the ruthless pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) to save Neverland and discover his true destiny - to become the hero who will forever be known as Peter Pan.

Our thoughts: My boys have always been a fan of the movie Peter Pan, so it was no surprised that they would be interested in "Pan". I have to admit, I was looking forward to watching the movie too. I wanted to see how the story of Peter Pan began. It was an interesting plot, with Peter befriending Hook in order to escape from Blackbeard to search for his mother. While searching for his mother, he embarks on an adventure that leads him to fight Blackbeard and save Neverland. My boys' favorite characters were both Hook and Blackbeard and my oldest wished the move could have been longer. We all enjoyed the movie and found it entertaining. It left me wondering, however, will there be a movie in the future that explains how Peter and Hook become enemies? If so, I would definitely be interested in watching that as well.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Oriental Trading Company Halloween Review

Disclosure: I received the following products in exchange for a review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and are my honest opinion of the products.

Every year around September my boys start thinking about Halloween. This year was no exception. Finding the perfect costume is of utmost priority in their minds. Although my older boys had a tougher time deciding what to be, for my youngest the decision was an easy one: Mickey Mouse. This worked out perfectly since Oriental Trading Company asked me to write a review about their Halloween products and they happened to have a Mickey Mouse costume.

I have always enjoyed shopping at Oriental Trading Company. At Oriental Trading Company you can shop for craft and hobby supplies, toys and novelties, party supplies, teaching supplies, home decor, and holiday products. In the past, I never would have thought to shop at Oriental Trading Company for a Halloween costume, but now my mind is changed. They offer a variety of different costumes for kids and adults to choose from, as well as accessories and props.

When the Mickey Mouse costume came in the mail, my son was so excited to try it on. The costume is made up of a bodysuit with a cute bowtie, as well as Mickey Mouse ears. My son absolutely loved the costume and wore it around all night. If we let him, he would wear it every day.

Since my older boys will dress up with a cape from time to time, I asked to review the Superhero Cape and Mask set. I figured this way my youngest could have his own cape too. Although he was excited to try on the cape and mask, it was a little too big for him so we will have to save it for when he is older. However, I was able to have my middle son try on the cape for the picture above. I was a little surprised that the cape feels like it is made out of plastic, but I do like that it is reversible with blue on one side and red on the other. It is only $6.25 so it might make a great party favor.

Besides being able to buy costumes at Oriental Trading Company, they offer a large variety of candy and favors. When I checked out the candy selection, it was easy to choose which to review. Since I work with kids, I know some of their favorites: Toostie Caramel Apple Suckers and Dum Dums. The Toostie Caramel Apple Suckers cost $5.75 for 24 lollipops, while the Dums Dums cost $9.99 for 120 lollipops. Since the Tootsie Caramel Apple Suckers are hard to find in stores, I was thrilled that Oriental Trading Company has these on their website. Although to me they are a bit pricey, the kids absolutely love them and ask for them all of the time!

Besides candy, kids also love stickers. So the last item I chose to review was a roll of Prism Pumpkin stickers. Each sticker is on a perforated piece so this would be perfect to hand out on Halloween.

If you are looking for Halloween products, I would recommend Oriental Trading Company. They offer a variety of costumes and accessories, candy and favors, party decorations and supplies, holiday decor, and crafts. I think their prices are reasonable and from time to time they even offer free shipping.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Mike & Molly: The Complete Fifth Season

Disclosure: I received a copy of the DVD in exchange for this post. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and are my honest opinions of the show.

My husband and I both enjoy watching Mike & Molly. With a funny and talented cast, this show is always entertaining! If you haven't had a chance to watch the fifth season, here is the synopsis below.

Press Release Synopsis: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings the fifth season of the hilarious hit comedy Mike & Molly to DVD on August 18, 2015. It's a season full of laughs, challenges, and triumphs for one of TV's most lovable couples. With an advance on her first book, Molly (Emmy® winner Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaid, The Heat, Spy) has become a real writer and must juggle the pressures of her publisher's deadlines with the challenges of writer's block. Meanwhile, Mike (Billy Gardell - My Name Is Earl, Jersey Boys) must deal with his too-close in-laws and the looming debt he and Molly will have to pay if she doesn't finish her book. Together, they embark on the next chapter of their lives as their crazy, hilarious love story continues to unfold. Mike & Molly: The Complete Fifth Season will retail for $24.98 SRP.

When she returns from the Iowa Writers' Workshop with a publisher's check in hand, it's official: Molly's a real writer! Now all she has to do is bang out that romance novel and start signing books. No sweat, right? As Molly struggles to cope with writer's block, her publisher's bizarre notes and stressful deadlines, her hubby feels the pinch. And with his in-laws living under the same roof and his partner dating Molly's sister, Mike's got his own world of drama to deal with. But when it comes to making true love work no matter what life throws in their way, this couple writes the book. Good times are here in all 22 Season Five episodes filled with life, laughs, and love.

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