Coming to Netflix: Jingle Jangle A Christmas Journey

If you haven’t heard about this movie, Be prepared to be wowed! I’ve seen stills all over Facebook (mostly in my costuming groups- the costumes you guys, THEY ARE FABU!) and I am so excited to share Jingle Jangle with you!

First off, here is the official trailer (on youtube).

A musical adventure and a visual spectacle for the ages, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a wholly fresh and spirited family holiday event. Set in the gloriously vibrant town of Cobbleton, the film follows legendary toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker) whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when his trusted apprentice (Emmy winner Keegan-Michael Key) steals his most prized creation, it’s up to his equally bright and inventive granddaughter (newcomer Madalen Mills) — and a long-forgotten invention — to heal old wounds and reawaken the magic within.

SERIOUSLY- LOOK AT THIS COAT!

From the imagination of writer-director David E. Talbert and featuring original songs by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, and “This Day” performed by Usher and Kiana Ledé, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey reminds us of the strength of family and the power of possibility.

This movie looks like it is going to be a hit with our family. And one thing I love is that it’s so different from the traditional holiday movies- There is no Santa Claus, no small town where the holiday love story happens (sorry Hallmark movies, you get no love from me).

I can’t wait to watch this movie with the kids- Jingle Jangle comes to Netflix on November 13th.

 

October is Kids Go Free Month!

October is a great time to be a kid in San Diego!

This October 1-31, kids 12 and under receive free admission at many art, cultural, and science museums and historical sites in San Diego County. This year may be a little different with closures due to COVID-19, so please call each attraction prior to visiting.

For those of us with curious kids, this is perfect! Kids can get into over 40 museums in the San Diego area free with paying adults (all the info can be found here).

Some of the participating organizations include:

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Fleet Science Center (Galleries only)
Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
Heritage of the Americas Museum
Japanese Friendship Garden
Living Coast Discovery Center
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Marston House Museum & Gardens
Mingei International Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Museum of Making Music
Museum of Photographic Arts
San Diego Air & Space Museum
San Diego Automotive Museum
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
San Diego History Center
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)
Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center
Timken Museum of Art (it’s always free for everyone FYI)
Women’s Museum of California

A full list can be found here. Oh, and as part of free October, Kids can get into the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park free when accompanied by a paying adult!  Other Kids go free attractions include: Legoland, Sea World, and the USS Midway!!

*Some museums charge fees for special exhibitions, programs or films. Some museums may limit offer use to once per month per guest. Purchase of a Balboa Park Explorer Pass does not qualify as a paid adult admission for the Kids Free in October program. Purchase of a Go San Diego Pass or card does not qualify as a paid adult admission for the Kids Free in October program at most museums; call museum(s) before visiting to enquire. 

Exploring Free Play- Fostering Imagination and Growth

As a Gen X parent, I never quite understood why we “had” to fill our kids afternoons and free time with 10,000 activities (sports, club meetings, scouting, etc.). My brother and I didn’t have tons of stuff each day after school. By the time I was in the 5th grade, both my parents worked, and frequently we were left home alone for a few hours after school a couple times a week.

We did our homework, played, read, and did chores. Even before that, there were plenty of times where we were home without structured activities. We still had scouts, soccer (my brother did AYSO for one season and decided it wasn’t for him), Key Club, Choir, JV Football. Many kids in my generation were latchkey kids and filled their afternoons with free and imaginative play.

Free play is an incredible learning tool for kids. It fosters imagination and gives kids opportunities to discover and explore. There are all sorts of toys that encourage free play- dolls, food toys, blocks, legos, to name a few.

My two love Playmobil. Playmobil is a German company that has been around since the 1970’s. They have so many different sets and types of toys- everything from princesses and fairies to knights and safari sets.

A jungle adventure after preschool. Complete with a feast

Recently, my son and daughter started pulling out some of their people as well as some of the animals and created their own adventure. Enter Carl the Mongoose and Mr. Chicken. Carl is a Meerkat, and Mr. Chicken is a Bald Eagle, but the names have stuck.  Other characters include The Birdkeeper and The Man with the Gray Hat, and Cleopatrick (my daughter named her). All of these people are from various sets, Cleo was the only one that sort of resembles her name, as she came from an awesome set of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar.

The animals and their people have all sorts of adventures. They have run a food truck, run a zoo, been on a cruise, gone on safari, hunted for wild animals, opened an iron and gold mine, run an orphanage (we have a lot of little kid Playmobil people), gone to college, gone to preschool, and taken a road trip to the “ocean” in Ohio. We paused the game for a bit to look at the US map to discover there is no ocean in Ohio, but they could go to Lake Erie instead. It was deemed the “Lake Erie ocean beach” adventure.

These adventures give the kids a chance to explore themselves and work on interpersonal relationships, even if it’s as a talking Bald Eagle and his keeper.

Even in these crazy times where nothing is certain, give your kids some time to play and explore. Taking a “brain break” (which is what the big kiddos teacher calls them) throughout the day for some playtime may help your kids more than you think.

Right now we are all home together, trying to scramble into some sort of routine of distance learning, being quiet while we all learn/work, breaks, and trying to play after school is over without making too much noise while grown ups work. It’s tough. It’s crazy. The house is messy, we’re frazzled, and we weren’t “with it” last week to follow our meal plan. But we got through it, and we’re trying again this week.

We’re all learning. And that means we should grant ourselves grace.

Be kind to yourself. Wash your paws, wear a mask, flatten the curve. Have a good week!

 

$9.99 Tickets to Lego SeaLife Aquarium!

105494940_3049698598453475_241475461252662359_o.jpgRecently the kids and I went to check out SeaLife Aquarium at Legoland California. I’m so glad that they have opened and are serving guests through the 6th of July. They have enacted a lot of practical safety measures to ensure guests and Model Citizens are well cared for.

Parades and fireworks throughout the country have been canceled for the 4th of July this year, but that isn’t stopping SEA LIFE® aquarium and its more than 4,000 creatures from celebrating Independence Day. The aquarium, located at LEGOLAND® California Resort and built for kids and families, took national pride to new depths by displaying a LEGO® model of the American flag in its 200,000-gallon ocean tank. Aquarium divers teamed up with LEGOLAND California’s Master Model Builder on the patriotic project and put the LEGO flag on display 17 feet below the tank’s surface for guests to enjoy. The 4-foot-long LEGO model took Model Builder Tim Sams more than 10 hours to build using 2,400 LEGO bricks. Guests will be able to enjoy the model throughout the 4th of July weekend.

And Right now, Aquarium tickets are just $9.99 EACH! That’s a stellar deal! If you are looking for something relaxing and fun, SeaLife is the perfect way to spend a few hours.

105427189_3049698691786799_1845955199491720174_o.jpg
Discovering abalone at the touch pool.

SEA LIFE aquarium is this the first attraction to open at the Resort as LEGOLAND still awaits approval for the Park’s reopening date. Guests interested in seeing the LEGO American flag model and interested in visiting SEA LIFE aquarium are encouraged to visit the Resort’s website to make reservations, review the health and safety guidelines and other guest experience and visiting details. For more information, visit the www.legoland.com/california

MY SPY- On Amazon Prime!

unnamed.pngThe kids and I saw My Spy in the theater right before the stay at home order was put in place. It was super cute and both kids (5 & 9) loved it. And now you can watch it at home on Amazon Prime or at a local drive-in theater with your kids!

Drive-In Theater Listing

My Spy follows JJ a hardened CIA operative (Dave Bautista) who has been demoted and finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) where he has been sent undercover begrudgingly to surveil her family. When Sophie discovers hidden cameras in her apartment, she uses her tech-savviness to locate where the surveillance operation is set. In exchange for not blowing JJ’s cover, Sophie convinces him to spend time with her and teach her to be a spy. Despite his reluctance, JJ finds he is no match for Sophie’s disarming charm and wit. The hilarious actioner is directed by Peter Segal from a script penned by Jon and Erich Hoeber and stars Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Kristen Schaal, Parisa Fitz-Henley and Ken Jeong. Producers are Chris Bender, Peter Segal, Jake Weiner, Robert Simonds, Gigi Pritzker, Dave Bautista and Jonathan Meisner.

There were a few times where the violence was a little intense for the kids, but the physical comedy, explosions, and jokes made up for that.

My son loves Kristen Schaal (You may know her as the voice of Mabel from Gravity Falls, and Louise from Bob’s Burgers), so he was hooked after I showed them the preview.

unnamed

If you are looking for a fun, family-friendly action movie to entertain the kids this summer, check out My Spy

.

 

Keeping Kids Active During the Quarantine!

There are all kinds of ways to get your kids active during the best of circumstances. However, life during the quarantine has proven challenging for all of us.

Chuze-RECT-rgb.jpgThanks to the awesome people over at Chuze Fitness, we can get our wiggles out as a family on the daily.

 On Chuze on-Demand new videos are posted each day, so the whole family will be able to break a sweat without breaking out of the house. This workout series was made in an attempt to bridge the gap when it comes to family-friendly workout videos by providing 20-minute classes designed for both big and little Chuzers to get their wiggles out.

On-screen, instructors lead their kids in stretches and fun movements that feel like a throwback to your own P.E. classes growing up – all you need to participate is a big room and a WiFi-connected device to follow along with. To access these Family Workouts, you can find them either on the Chuze on-Demand website or the Chuze Fitness YouTube page.

b0e5d5e05457e2c8a12dc87c9b6eafc7If this isn’t your cup of tea, or your kids need something that’s just for them here are a few other exercise options:

Go Noodle: Either from their website, or their YouTube Page. There are lots of fun videos to dance along to- we like Kitty High Five, Cat Party, Pop See Ko, and Run the Red Carpet.

Cosmic Kids Yoga: Jaime is a fun Yogini! She leads kids on fun asanas that often follow themes of their favorite movies, TV shows, or games. It’s a great way to make Yoga accessible to kids. We love Star Wars Yoga.

Dance Party: I’ll put on fun, funky, or silly music and the kids and I will dance for 20 minutes. Family favorite songs to shake our tails include anything by Grand Funk Railroad, Thrift Shop by Macklemore, Last Friday Night by Katy Perry, Rock Party Anthem, Uptown Funk, What does The Fox say.

Talk Back: How are you keeping your kiddos active during this tough time? 

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).

1/27/2020 Meal Plan Monday

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis week we’ve got so much going on, We’re doing a lot of super low key/easy meals, and relying on a couple meals from the freezer!

My shopping week for this week was small:

  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Bagels
  • Avocados
  • Snacks for school lunches (Goldfish, a batch of cookies, etc)

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day: You may notice a lot of plant-based meals- We are not vegetarian (well, the big kid is, but the rest of us aren’t), but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or soups for me and Bitty. The big kid takes his lunch to school, but once in a while, I can convince him to buy his lunch.

IMG_9133.JPG
Our Meal Plan/ Shopping list area in the Kitchen Command Center

For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked. We’ve got a bunch of stuff in the freezer, as I’ve been portioning out 2-3 adult-sized entree portions from several meals a week and freezing them for later meals.

  • Monday: Waffles, eggs, sausage
  • Tuesday: Meat Pies, Green Salad
  • Wednesday: Frozen Entrees
  • Thursday: Chicken Chili
  • Friday:   Veggie Stir Fry & Brown Rice
  • Saturday: Pizza & fruit salad
  • Sunday:  Leftover fiesta!

 

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

1/20/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgLast week’s veggie prep really has us all set for a week full of yummy dinners! I’m hitting the store this afternoon to buy some stuff for kid’s lunches, and a few things that will round out meals for the week. My shopping list includes:

  • AP Flour (Probably a 10 or 25 lb bag- it will last for a while)
  • Avocados
  • Cheddar Cheese (block to be cut into pieces for kiddo snacks)
  • Milk
  • Coffee
  • Juice boxes
  • White Sugar/Raw Sugar (for baking)

Everything else on the menu for this week is made of stuff that we have on hand. Thanks to Brooke from Crying Out Loud for sharing some of her yummy goodies from her Porch Light box this week too.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day: You may notice a lot of plant-based meals- We are not vegetarian (well, the big kid is, but the rest of us aren’t), but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or soups for me and Bitty. The big kid takes his lunch to school, but once in a while, I can convince him to buy his lunch.

IMG_9133.JPGFor dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked. We’ve got a bunch of stuff in the freezer, as I’ve been portioning out 2-3 adult-sized entree portions from several meals a week and freezing them for later meals.

  • Monday: Chicken Chili topped with cheese, cornbread, and strawberries
  • Tuesday: Fritatta and green salad
  • Wednesday: Veggie Loaded Pasta Sauce and pasta
  • Thursday: Pancakes, sausage, & eggs
  • Friday:   Grilled Cheese and Soup
  • Saturday: Home made pizza
  • Sunday:  Leftover fiesta!

 

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

 

1/13/2020 Weekly Meal Plan

0a5e9dab796cea8a07eabe4eb4795b9e.jpgThis week is going to be another week with time spent doing fruit and veggie prep, in addition to our weekly meal planning sesh, which I did yesterday.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

Friday I picked up some fresh fruit and veg, which should get us through until next week.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

Meal Plan
This is our family “Command Center”- Family Calendar and Weekly meal Plan/Shopping list

You may notice a lot of plant-based meals- We are not vegetarian (well, the big kid is, but the rest of us aren’t), but I am trying to get more veggies into our diet. I do a lot of cooking from scratch- I find it easier to get veggies and fruit into recipes that I can have 100% control over.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day:

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids (they love the Kodiak Cakes Mix).  I also keep sandwich Ziploc bags of other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or soups for me and Bitty. The big kid takes his lunch to school, but once in a while, I can convince him to buy his lunch.

For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked. We’ve got a bunch of stuff in the freezer, as I’ve been portioning out 2-3 adult-sized entree portions from several meals a week and freezing them for later meals.

  • Monday: Butter Chicken, steamed rice, and veggies
  • Tuesday: Frozen Entrees
  • Wednesday: Tuscan Soup
  • Thursday: Breakfast (probably pancakes or waffles served with poached eggs on top, fresh fruit and glasses of milk)
  • Friday:   Chef Salad  (It’s Date night, but we’ll probably have dinner at home before heading out to shenanigans)
  • Saturday: Home made pizza
  • Sunday:  Leftover fiesta!

 

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?