Ya’ll know my love of your local Y. This Thursday, July 4th, you can check out any San Diego County YMCA for FREE! Thursday, July 4 YMCA locations are open 7:00am-2:00pm (Holiday Hours). Childwatch times vary by location, so call ahead or check the branch locations before heading out.
The kids and I will be hitting up the Y to get our wiggles out before heading out to party with family Thursday afternoon!
And if you are looking for a job, many YMCA locations are hiring! Year-round and seasonal positions currently available. Learn more at www.ymca.org/careers
I am digging all the new content that Hulu has been putting out lately. I’m super excited about THE BRAVEST KNIGHT.
Following the inspiring and perseverant former pumpkin farmer, Sir Cedric, now grown and married to the prince of his dreams, The Bravest Knight recounts personal tales of his journey. Sir Cedric shares his story with his adopted 10-year-old daughter Nia, on how he transformed from day-time farmer to full-fledged knight. Nia, who is training to become a brave knight herself, learns important values such as honor, justice and compassion; proving that knighthood is much more than slaying dragons.
You can catch the trailer here. As a family that participates in Historical recreation (via our local SCA group), it’s important to me that my kids learn that knights and other chivalrous people do more than slay dragons, and a knight isn’t always a man. And my kids know that a family is what you make of it- Mommies, Daddies, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins- Every family is different and important!
The show boasts a star-studded cast including T.R. Knight as “Sir Cedric,” Bobby Moynihan as young Cedric’s troll sidekick “Grunt,” Storm Reid as Not-Yet-Knight “Nia,” and will also feature the voice talents of RuPaul, Christine Baranski, Wanda Sykes, Wilson Cruz, Teri Polo, Steven Weber, Donna Murphy, AJ McLean, Dot-Marie Jones, Maz Jobrani, Chance Hurstfield and more. The Bravest Knight’s opening theme song was written and performed by Grammy-nominated musician, songwriter and activist Justin Tranter.
My littlest has watched the trailer over and over and she is so excited to watch all of Nia’s adventures. The bigger kiddo has mamas ear for voices and has already told me he recognizes some of the voices from some of his other favorite shows- Bobby Moynihan, Wanda Sykes just to name two!
If you don’t have Hulu, you can sign up here– In addition to The Bravest Knight, you’ll be able to watch thousands of shows and movies on Hulu, with plans starting at $5.99/month for 1 year.
Disclosure: Warner Bros. supplied me with a free copy of The Lego Movie2: The Second Part for my family. All opinions are my own.
Everything is AWESOME! We are HUGE fans of anything Lego, so when I found out that The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part was coming out on DVD & Blu-Ray on May 7th, I told the kids and we decided: MOVIE PARTY!
If you can’t wait until 5/7, you can buy a digital-only copy on starting April 16th! “The LEGO® Movie 2: The Second Part” will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers including Amazon, FandangoNow, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others.
If you aren’t “in the know”, Here’s the movie synopsis:
It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are now facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than it can be rebuilt. The battle to defeat the invaders and restore harmony to the LEGO universe will take Emmet (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett) and their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds, including a galaxy filled with fantastic planets, strange characters, and catchy new songs. It will test their courage, creativity and Master Building skills, and reveal just how special they really are.
And of course, there are special features… The kids and I love the special features from the Lego Batman Movie, so I’m sure the special features on The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part will be just as awesome. They include:
Everything is Awesome Sing-along – Sing-along, trivia, games and more!
Commentary – Fun behind the scenes commentary by filmmakers
They Come in Pieces: Assembling The LEGO Movie 2 – Featurette highlighting A-list voice talent including Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett and Tiffany Haddish
Emmet’s Holiday Party: A LEGO Movie Short – Holiday themed animated short
LEGO Sets in Action – Animations of the LEGO product tied to The LEGO Movie 2
LEGO Designers – LEGO toy designers highlight key play sets in TLM2 product line
Outtakes & Deleted Scenes – Never before seen scenes
Super Cool Music Video – Music video by Beck featuring Robyn and The Lonely Island
Promotion Spots – Fun custom spots featured during the theatrical campaign
And because everything is AWESOME, our friends at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment want to give a DVD of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part to one of my readers!
Entering is easy! Leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite Lego Memory. It could be building Legos as a child, with your kids, visiting Legoland, or going to see The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (or any other Lego Movie) in theatres. I’ll choose a winner at random on May 4th.
Have you or your kids read Storm Boy? We started reading it about a week ago, and both kids are hooked. It’s really best suited for ages 10+, but my 8 year old loves stories featuring animals. It’s now a movie- starring Jai Courtney, Geoffrey Rush & Finn Little.
The movie is a beautiful and contemporary retelling of Colin Thiele’s classic Australian tale. ‘Storm Boy’ has grown up to be Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When Kingley starts to see images from his past that he can’t explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood, growing up on an isolated coastline with his father. He recounts to his grand-daughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr. Percival. Their remarkable adventures and very special bond has a profound effect on all their lives. Based on the beloved book, Storm Boy is a timeless story of an unusual and unconditional friendship.
The Storm Boy is a wonderful book and movie about selflessness, courage, perseverance, and love. I cant wait to finish the book so we can go see the movie in theatres. In addition to the book (for sale on Amazon here), there are printables available for download to help continue the message from the book, including:
With 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.
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:
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.
We love Ice Cream! But, it can be expensive, a carton that’s not a half gallon can run upwards of $5.00 around these parts. Most cartons of ice cream are 1.5 to 1.75 quarts, that’s a decrease from 2 quarts or a half gallon just 10 years ago. Same price (or more) and less product. No thanks.
And honestly, there are a lot of weird ingredients in store bought ice cream. Food stabilizers, thickeners (like seaweed), and artificial flavors/colors. No thanks!
After meeting with a nutritionist recently regarding my big kids food issues stemming from sensory issues related to ASD, she recommended more full fat dairy products to help make sure he was getting enough fats in his diet. A kid can only drink so much milk, so I decided to make some ice cream from scratch.
I borrowed my parents Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, which you can buy on Amazon, or probably at your local Bed Bath and Beyond. It makes 2 quarts at a time. It comes with a great cook book full of all kinds of great recipes and ideas.
After looking through that cook book, as well as looking through several of my own, and a quick internet search, I came up with several ideas on how to concoct some tasty ice cream. I asked the kids for flavor suggestions. Two choices were the big winners:
Peanut butter ice cream with chocolate chips- I opted to use PB Fit instead of blending peanut butter into the milk/cream/sugar mixture- so it would have a better texture. I was also worried that the extra fat from the peanut butter would mess with the fat ratio and inhibit the hardening of the mixture.
Chocolate Malt- I used the basic recipe below, but added 1/4 c malt powder. I buy a huge container of malt powder on Amazon every quarter, but you can get smaller sized containers at Walmart or in the grocery store.
Making Ice Cream is easy. If you’ve got an ice cream maker, you just mix up your ingredients, pour into the drum of the maker, put the lid on, flip the switch and 15-20 minutes, you’ll have a pretty soft ice cream. Scoop it into an airtight container with a lid (like Tupperware), and freeze it for about 2 hours. Then it’ll be hard enough to eat.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t fret, you can use two coffee cans (cleaned out of course), some ice, salt, and duct tape and make it at home- This is the method we used when I was a kid. You can read all about it here along with a true and funny story about making ice cream with kids. This is also a fun thing to do while camping- You can pre-mix the ingredients and take it in your cooler.
Here is the basic recipe I use. Please note that the ingredients used are chosen specifically for their fat content so the ice cream will be creamy. If you alter the ingredients at all, the ice cream will be gritty, grainy, or have ice crystals in it.
Ice Cream Base (makes about 1.5 quarts)
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream- DO NOT USE half and half, fat free half and half or non-dairy creamer).
1 cup whole milk- You have to use whole milk or you’ll get ice crystals
3/4 c sweetener (I used white sugar, you can also use brown sugar, or 1 for 1 Splenda)
1 T Vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Prepare Ice Cream maker as machine instruction call for, or set up your Coffee Can ice cream maker.
Place all ingredients into chilled mixing bowl, and mix with hand mixer until all ingredients are well blended,
Pour into cream cream maker.
Turn on ice cream maker, or start rolling your coffee cans!
If you want to make my PB Fit ice cream, add 3/4 c PB Fit and 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips in step two.
Chocolate Malt ice cream is the base recipe with 3/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 c malt powder, and an additional 1/2 c brown sugar.
Now onto the economics: Is making your own ice cream cheaper? Usually, yes. We used flavorings that we already have on hand, and I recommend that you do the same- You know what flavors you like, and you probably already have some flavorings on hand.
32 oz. Whipping cream- $4.99
1 qt. Whole Milk .99
That’s enough cream to make 2 2-quart batches of ice cream.
You can watch a video of the ice cream maker going here, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram too! I post all kinds of fun stuff there!
Disclaimer: I have linked to items on Amazon. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. Monies earned through commissions are used to offset the costs associated with running the blog (and the occasional cup of coffee).
Talk Back: What is your favorite flavor of Ice Cream? Have you ever made Ice Cream at home before?
Hooray, It’s back! This is one of the kids favorite “holidays”, free museum day! If you’re looking for some adventure on Saturday, September 22, check out the event website here, and pick a museum!
Luckily for us here in San Diego, there are TONS of museums for us to chose from. One thing that I like about the site is that it shows you which museums are free every day. So if it’s something that appeals to you and your family, you can chose to go another day and not have to fight the crowds.
This event is taking place all over the US, so regardless of your location there should be a few participating museums near you!
Talk Back: Which museums are you interested in visiting?