Tryazon: Zombie Chase Game Night from Play Monster

I showed this to the kids last night- They are both stoked to try this game with their friends. I mean, who doesn’t love zombies?

We’ve been participating in Tryazon events for three+ years. We’ve gotten to try all sorts of fun toys, games, and food.  You can learn more about Tryazon here.

The chase is on with this Tryazon Featured Party opportunity, from PlayMonster, featuring the new Zombie Chase board game! Zombie Chase is a beginner strategy game with two ways to win, as a human or as a zombie. Aged at 7+, Zombie Chase is a perfect game for family game night, and one thing is for sure: to win, alive or undead, you’ll be needing plenty of brains!

Tryazon has a total of 250 hosting spots open for this opportunity! Those selected get to receive a party pack with Zombie Chase and another title, Reign: The Final Battle Royale, to sample and share with friends and family! Learn more and apply here.

Have Your Hot Girl Summer on a Budget

I’m sure by now everyone has heard the phrase “Hot Girl Summer”, but do you know what it means? The phrase can be traced back to a Megan Thee Stallion song a few years ago.

On Twitter, she explained: “Being a Hot Girl is about being unapologetically YOU, having fun, being confident, living YOUR truth, being the life of the party, etc.”

A couple of my friends have embraced it, and I think that it’s a pretty amazing outlook to have, especially since last summer was, well, Sad Trombone Noise? I know the kids are looking forward to having fun, more adventures, and getting out of the house. Here are a couple ways I’m bringing Hot Girl Summer (and sharing it with the fam).

New Bathing Suits. Kids grow, but what about me? Well after having the same swimsuits for 3 years, it’s time. Especially since we swim daily.  I bought a few new suits from Amazon. Since I’m fair-skinned I picked up one with long sleeves, the kids tease me about working at SeaWorld. This is just one of the many suits I’ve got. It’s perfect for prime sun time.

 

New Pool Bag and New Pool Toys. Every Summer it seems, we need new pool toys and a new pool bag. The Chlorine wrecks our bag (which is mesh- this helps the pool toys dry quickly), and daily use of toys leaves them.. wrecked. Dollar Tree has a great selection of sturdy pool toys, including inflatables for kids (We have a cool cookie ring that has a “bite” taken out of it). For me, I picked up a sweet inflatable float pool chair. 

Plans to meet up with friends. Now that most people have access to the vaccine, getting together with friends is a lot more feasible. We are still limiting ourselves and staying away from large gatherings where we don’t know everyone, but dinner and drinks with friends sound amazing. I’m hosting dinners a couple times a month over the summer for a few reasons: 1. To keep all of our costs down (Dinner out with drinks costs $$$ these days), and honestly, I don’t feel super safe going out for dinner all that often, especially now that there are no mask regulations in our state. And I’m having a weekend getaway with some girlfriends in a few weeks. I am really looking forward to a weekend away in a vacation rental doing a whole lot of nothing!

Take Advantage of the season: What does that mean? Summer has all sorts of fun advantages: Long days, Amazing fruit and veggies are in season, nice weather. Spend time outside (poolside, at the beach, exploring nature), enjoy a big bowl of fruit salad, make a huge salad! Community events are starting to come back (with limited event sizes), and there are lots of free events throughout the summer. EventBrite is a great place to find community events.

Make Time for You: I know… So many blogs and social media tell you to get self-care time and spend time doing things that you love, but as a parent, it can be hard without staying up late or waking up before dawn. Finding a sitter can be tough too. It’s ok to lean on family and friends. The past year has been exponentially tough on parents, and you need time to yourself. Swap child care with friends, or if you want to have a night out, split the cost of a sitter. Your kids can hang out together, while you and your friends get some time away.

Take Care of Yourself: And I don’t mean the stereotypical self-care of putting on a mud mask and drinking water with lemon slices. That’s fun, but I mean the simple acts that we often overlook as caregivers.

  • Sunscreen for your face and any exposed areas when you’ll be outside for more than 10 minutes during peak sun hours (usually 10am-4pm). Don’t forget the tops of your ears. Being super fair-skinned I also wear a sun hat too. Not super sexy, but I don’t want skin cancer.
  • Take something to drink with you. I know most of you pack snacks for your kids when you leave home, but take a few extra minutes to make yourself something that you like (bonus if it’s a snack that your kids do not like- No sharing!), and fill your water bottle. This is the water bottle I use. If you like fruit-infused water, bottles like this are great.  You can also opt for an infuser to go into your favorite bottle or insulated cup.
  • Find Something to Keep You Occupied.  Besides your kids. Pick up a book, grab a craft kit (I like embroidery- it’s easy and portable), Craftsy has some cool online classes to get you started.

I’d love to hear about how you are bringing Hot Girl Summer. Leave a comment below!

 

 

 

Special Needs Resource Foundation Presents Free, In-person Read 3×3 Literacy Event!

Join the Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego and San Diego Family for our FREE in-person event on Saturday, July 24 from 9-11am at the San Diego Central Library – 330 Park Blvd, San Diego, 92101.

Three authors, Doreen Cronin, Alex Montoya, and Reginald Brown, will entertain children of all abilities with a book reading and a unique, themed craft. Parents can gather resources from local businesses. One free book per child, while supplies last.

To Register or learn more about this event, click here.

And if you are looking for something fun to do later that day, check out the Free San Diego Youth Carnival at the Jacobs Center. 

The Harlem Globetrotters are Coming to Town!

harlemglobetrotterstileThey are back! The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to town, well our town, and probably yours too!

I can’t wait to take the kids. First, we will definitely have to watch some episodes of Scooby Doo from the 70’s!

If you want to take your family, US Family Guide has partnered with the team to save you some money! Save 25% with Promo Code: FUNFAM 

All-New Harlem Globetrotters Pushing The Limits World Tour

This is more than a basketball game. It is more than a show. It is the one and only Harlem Globetrotters in an all-new, larger-than-life world tour. You’ll be on your feet, out of your seat, laughing until it hurts and loving every moment.

The 5th Quarter – The game isn’t over after the final shot! Meet your favorite Globetrotter courtside after the game to get an autograph and photo.

Don’t miss out – get your tickets today and save SAVE 25% for ALL Harlem Globetrotters Games with promo code FUNFAM (Must purchase 14 days before Game Date).

YMCA of San Diego County- Cyber Monday Deal!

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We love our local YMCA- They have great exercise classes, awesome free events for members and the community, open gym for the kids to run and play in the gymnastics area three times a week, an activity pool that is open in the spring and summer, and I could go on and on.

We go to the Y 4-6 times a week for exercise and so the kids can play and socialize- this is a HUGE help during school breaks because the kids club/child watch has great programs and play opportunities- and it’s included in the price of membership. And it’s so much more than the kid’s area at most chain gyms. The folks at child watch and kids club do crafts, lead games, read stories, and teach the kids how to play new games, and take them into the gym area to bounce on the huge trampoline!

Today Only, December 2nd- Cyber Monday, New members pay no joining fee if they join online using our special My Y Code CYBR19. Your friend will save up to $60! And if you are a member and your friend mentions your name at sign up,  you’ll get a free month of membership! If you are going to sign up, mention my name, Abby Hewes. Any way we can save money helps our families bottom line!

For our family, YMCA is definitely frugal: for $75/month, I am able to go to the gym for 2 hours a day and the kids can go to play and have fun. Any of our other local gyms can’t touch that price, and they don’t have the other programs or benefits.

The YMCA offers scholarships and reduced monthly membership fees for military families, families that receive WIC, and many other programs- don’t forget to ask about them!

And if you are the parent of a special needs kid, let me tell you that our local Y has the most wonderful, caring staff that cares for all kids. My big kid is autistic and he loves going to Kids Club to hang out and play. He also loves the monthly Kids Night at the Y.

Brick Or Treat Party nights are Back at Legoland California!

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I’m stoked! Brick or Treat is back at Legoland! This will be our 3rd year going, and the kids can’t wait!

Join Legoland California every Saturday night (Sept. 28, Oct. 5, 12, 19, and 26) at 5 p.m. The family theme Park transforms into the ultimate family Halloween party with tasty goodies, monster jams and spooktacular entertainment! With treat stations located throughout the Park and inside SEA LIFE® Aquarium, there is sure to be something to satisfy every sweet tooth. Along with tons of candy, guests can collect specialty items such as LEGO® Commemorative brick, LEGO® Life Magazine and healthy treat options!

The popular Brick-or-Treat festivities are back with a new out of this world Pop Badge Challenge! Families can collect an exclusive Brick-or-Treat pop badge by snapping a selfie with an intergalactic dancer at Club Astro Bash! After dancing their way at Planet Boogie, they can collect one pop badge per weekend, with an exclusive, new Pop Badge design offered each Brick-or-Treat Party Night!

The ultimate family Halloween party is filled with frighteningly- fun entertainment as the Boo Crew returns with a new creepy crawly stilt walker, The Spider Queen! Guests can get in the Halloween spirit by jumping in and boogieing down at the seasons most frighteningly-fun dance parties which includes Midnight Monster Jam where guests help the Monster Crew bring their spooky fun character concert to life! Wacky Professor Frankenbrick returns to Brick-or-Treat with one goal: to be the best mad scientist in the world! Kids can partake in the interactive Frankenbrick’s Lab show by using their imagination to bring his LEGO® Monsters to life. Kids can celebrate the season by singing along and moving their feet to the beat with The Witchettes in the Courtyard Theatre or by joining in the interactive play, Mail Order Monsters. Guests also have a chance to win some scream worthy prizes by showing off their coolest costumes in the Brick-Or-Treat Costume Contest presented by Disguise Costumes! With three categories: Group, Heroes & Villains and LEGO Themed, as well as a Costume Parade for all kids to join in, there is a chance for everyone to strut their stuff during the Halloween celebration!

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights is a special event and admission can be purchased for as low as $64 if purchased online in advance. Special event ticket holders can enjoy costume contests, decorations, character meet and greets, trick-or-treating, live music and tons of frightfully festive entertainment. Guests can follow the fun by using #BRICKORTREAT2019 on social media.

We’re going on October 5th, make sure to keep your eyes peeled on our Instagram Feed for photos of all of the cool treats, spooky costumes, and of course, Granny’s Apple Fries!

Detective Pikachu Review

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Henry enjoying the movie stand-up in the lobby

My Big Guy LOVES Pokémon. The cartoons, the card game, and when he found out there was going to be a live-action movie he begged me (and his dad) to take him. Thanks to my awesome PR friend Risa, we were able to check out a sneak preview on Monday.

 

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Pika Pika!!

So my review comes from the angle of a mom with an autistic kid who doesn’t do well with lots of fast movement, loud sounds (like explosions) in movies.

IT WAS PERFECT! Visually, the insertion of the Pokémon was seamless, it wasn’t ever too loud, too fast, and the special effects were just enough. Kiddo watched in fascination for the entire movie! The movie run time is 1 hour, 44 minutes. A great length for a kids movie (although it is rated PG- Pikachu says “hell” at one point).

For those not in the know… The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to work together, as Tim is the only human who can talk with Detective Pikachu, they join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.

Oh, and Ryan Reynolds voices Pikachu. So there is that too. There is really something for everyone.

Did you know that the creator of Pokémon, Satoshi Taiji is autistic? It’s true! The Art of Autism has a really great article about him and Pokémon.

We didn’t take the Itty Bitty kiddo, but she’s not really into going to the movies (except for the snacks). If your littler kiddos like going to the movies, I’d recommend it for them too.

Detective Pikachu opens on Friday, May 10th.

 

Talk Back: Do your kids love Pokémon? Who is their favorite? 

 

 

#DetectivePikachu

Thinking about Cutting the Cord?

file1201268366483With the price of cable going up, and dish offerings that can be sort of… meh depending on where you live, cutting the cord may be right for you. If you are one of those people that has to watch “their shows” as soon as they are available, or you need a specific kinds of sports ball, this may not be for you. In that case, try shopping for a better deal with your cable provider or check out a dish provider.

We’ve been without cable for about 15 years, and Mr. Husband has been without cable for almost 20 years! My kids have never had cable. They don’t miss out, we’ve got an Apple TV, so they can still watch PBS Kids, and we’ve got Hulu too (which I love because it’s $5.99/month for limited commercials).

With Apple TV, we can watch YouTube (Once the big kid learned about Rube Goldberg machines, it’s all we watched on TV for a week), Hulu, Netflix (we also have a streaming only subscription). We also have an antenna (like this one), so we can watch local over the air TV.

Depending on how strong the signals in your area are, you should be able to receive:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • NBC
  • CW
  • Fox
  • PBS (We get three PBS channels)

There are additional networks that are available in various areas of the county.  Here in So Cal, we also get:

Plus we get a few more Spanish language channels, and one Korean language channel.

The thing I like about not having cable is that the kids are not bombarded with commercials for toys, junk food, basic consumer shit that a lot of us were exposed to as kids on TV.  I like that the commercials on Hulu are 30 seconds or less and it’s usually only 1 or 2 per break.

And we spend time doing other stuff. Crafts, science, playing with toys, etc. Yesterday we played stuffed animal clinic and built a Lego zoo.

Smallfoot Dvd/BluRay Giveaway!

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We recently received an advance copy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s film Smallfoot.

It was so cute! If you are looking for a cute family movie to watch this holiday season, Smallfoot is perfect! And you are in luck, because today, December 4, “Smallfoot” will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers including Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. On December 11, “Smallfoot” will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

If you are like us and love the Dvd/BluRay/Digital combo pack, that will be released on December 11, 2018.

Smallfoot is an animated adventure for all ages, with fun new music by Zendaya & Common and featuring an all-star cast, “Smallfoot” turns the Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti (Channing Tatum) finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human! News of the “smallfoot,” Percy (James Corden), throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village.  This is an epic story about friendship and courage!

BLU-RAY ELEMENTS

“Smallfoot” Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:

  • Yeti Set Go Sing-Along – Sing-Along, fun facts and much more!
  • “Super Soozie” Mini Movie – Custom animation featuring the yeti toddler, Soozie.
  • Migo in The Secret of the Yeti Stones – Featurette featuring Channing Tatum
  • Yeti or Not, Here They Come! Imagining Smallfoot – The making of Smallfoot
  • Nial Horran “Finally Free” Music Video
  • Cyn “Moment of Truth” Music Video
  • “Wonderful Life: In 28 Languages, Sung Around the World” Music Video
  • Theatrical promos

“Smallfoot” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:

  • Yeti or Not, Here They Come! Imagining Smallfoot

I am so excited to give away a copy of Smallfoot to one reader! Entering is easy: Just leave a comment on this post- What is your favorite holiday tradition? Looking at Christmas lights, caroling, a special family meal, midnight mass, ugly sweaters?

I’ll chose one winner on 12/10/18 and notify the winner via email and will be shipped directly to the winner by the giveaway sponsor.