Sunday, February 28, 2010
One thing that annoyed me is that they never used the words "hurt locker" and I wanted to know what a hurt locker was. I looked it up on Wikipedia and apparently it is slang for being injured in an explosion.
Anyway, it's about this team of 3 guys who are on the Bravo (?) rotation. Sgt. James arrives after Sgt. Thompson is killed by a bomb. (Played by Guy Pearce, it was very sad to see such a hot guy die so early in the movie.) James is the guy on the team who disables the bombs and gives the all clear or tells people to move farther away, what not. The other two guys are not too excited about his cocky attitude and don't want to work with him. This movie chronicles some of their high points and low points as they go through the time left in their tour.
As I said, I liked it. I didn't get bored, it wasn't anything like Saving Private Ryan or any of those movies. I liked how we got to know some of the characters really well...
Not much more I can say other than that I recommend it and so far, it and District 9 are the only 2 I've said that about.
Family Time Factor: I'm going to say 12 and up.
MOTR Grade: B+
Friday, February 26, 2010
As aforementioned, Veggie Tales was one of my daughter's favorite shows a couple years back. In fact, her second birthday cake had a veggie tales picture on it! (Thanks, Dairy Queen!) Now that my son is her age, I like to watch him experience Veggie Tales as well. It has catchy songs, witty conversation and cute stories that teach good morals and values. Plus, I was super stoked to see that this one's moral was listening to your parents because my daughter is having a few issues with that lately.
In a creative parody of the beloved story of Pinocchio, this all-new adventure features a helpful lesson in listening to your parents, a new Silly Song, and more. Once upon a time in the small town of Bologna-Salami, there lived a lonely toymaker named Gelato and his assistant Cricket. Gelato had no children of his own, so one day he decided to carve a little boy out of wood. Imagine Gelato’s surprise when he learned this little boy could walk…and talk…and definitely had a mind of his own! When Pistachio tries to do things his way, he lands in a “whale” of a situation! Will he decide to listen to the wisdom of a loving father in time to save his whole family from becoming fish food? Find out in this all-new adventure with a lesson about the importance of family and learning to listen.
Family Time Factor: Tolerable by adults, but probably more enjoyed by children 10 and under. (Although they did used to show Veggie Tales clips at this youth group program at church when I was in high school.)
MOTR Grade: B
Veggie Tales: Pistachio- The Little Boy that Woodn't is available March 2nd on DVD!!!
Also, check out Veggie Tales on Facebook and enter to win a cruise from Veggie Tales.
One lucky winner will receive a copy of this DVD! I will choose the winner via random.org on March 13. Entries will be accepted through noon. Contest is only open to U.S. and Canada residents.
1) Become a fan of my Mom on the Random, Miss Advice or Piersee Pekes pages on Facebook. You can get one entry for each one, just make sure you put separate comments if you become a fan of more than one.
2) Follow or subscribe to my blog, or follow me on Twitter or digg this, stumble, etc.
3) Post a link to this giveaway on facebook, your own site or twitter and then return here with to let me know!
That's it! Good luck!
DVD was provided to me free for review and also for giveaway by Big Idea, Inc. and Special Ops Media.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
If you have kids that love to learn and you want to nourish their brains, you really need to check out Growing Tree Toys! And it's never too early to think about birthdays and next Christmas!!!
Thanks to everyone who participated! I may be doing another Squiggle giveaway very soon, so check back! I also will be having some upcoming DVD giveaways as well.
Larry Gopnik is an ordinary guy... very ordinary. There is nothing interesting about him at all. He's a professor on the tenure track. For such a plain guy, he seems to have trouble in all the people around him. His son is a pot head, his daughter is a B, his wife has fallen in love with some old widower and wants a "get" (some kind of approved Jewish divorce). Plus he has a brother living with him that seems to cause nothing but trouble. So, this movie follows Larry as he seeks to find the answers to life and try to get through his problems.
Although it held my interest, this movie was boring and pointless. I hated the end, I didn't understand the significance of the beginning and the only character who I liked was the pothead son. I was just waiting for Larry to go crazy and start whacking people. (He did live quite wildly in his dreams, though.)
I don't know why this was nominated, but I could have said the same thing about No Country for Old Men.
Don't waste your time on this.
Family Time Factor: There's not much graphic or raunchy, but I don't think kids would want to watch it.
MOTR Grade: C-
Friday, February 19, 2010
Both of my kids use sippy cups. I usually buy whatever cups are cheapest, but I've invested in the Gerber ones before. It always seems like spill-proof means "well, it leaks a little when they shake it, but what more do you want?" My son loves to try to shake out the liquid, which is quite frustrating.
I received Tommee Tippee sippy cups to review and have been extremely impressed! In fact, unless they are being washed, I haven't had my kids use any other cup since! What I love about them is that they are in fact spill proof and have really soft spouts. My daughter is four and she received the Stage 5 cup, which is the Drinking Cup, and is part of their Explora brand. It has a large capacity for ultimate hydration and an insulated design keeps drinks cool. My daughter can actually drink from a regular cup, but her brother likes to snatch it, so this cup works great because she feels like a big girl, but her brother can't make a mess.
For my son, he received a Stage 2 Sippy Cup, which was perfect because it is just like the cups I normally buy for him. It has a soft spout to protect child’s gums and mouth, is easy for little hands to hold and dishwasher safe. My ONLY complaint about this cup and the Drinking Cup are all the pieces you have to take apart to wash them. But, I can live with that if it means less mess to clean up from spillage! These are also extremely reasonably priced at $7.99 for a 2 pack, which for the durability and messlessness makes them worth every penny!
Tommee Tippee products have been hailed as the #1 feeding brand in the UK and are now being sold exclusively through Babies R Us.
This product was supplied for free to review from Tommee Tippee as I am a reviewer for the Mom Bloggers Club.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.
Dear Dogs and Cats:
The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.
The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It i s not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.
For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.
The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.
Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:
TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS:
(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.
Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they
(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't hang out with drug-using people;
(7) don't smoke or drink,
(8) don't want to wear your clothes,
(9) don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(10) don't need a gazillion dollars for college and
(11) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children ..
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Porky and Bess
Written by Ellen Weiss and Mel Friedman; illustrated by Marsha Winborn
This was a really fun book for me to review because it involved a cat, which delighted both myself and my daughter. We settled down to read it and she was enraptured from start to finish. This is a Step 4 Step Into Reading title, which is delegated for children in grades 2-3 and promotes reading paragraphs, contains challenging vocabulary, short paragraphs and exciting stories. It is for "newly independent readers who read simple sentences with confidence." Of course, my daughter just learned to write her first name, so she won't be reading it anytime soon, but I did find the sentence structures to be very simple with great vocabulary building words spread throughout. I definitely think it is great for kids who have been reading for at least a year.
The story is about a pig named Porky and his friend, Bess the cat. Bess and Porky are quite the opposite. Porky likes clutter, dislikes people. Bess loves neatness and has three kittens and loves people. Porky is also a poet and his goal throughout the story is to create a new poem to read for Poetry Reading Night. He has a hard time rhyming and coming up with the right thoughts, so he uses his friend Bess for inspiration.
Age level: As I mentioned, my 4 year old loved the story, but it is rather long to expect most toddlers to sit through, so I'd say ages 4 and up to be read to and ages 7-10 in terms of the reading level.
MOTR Grade: A
Porky and Bess hits the shelves February 23!!!
This title was provided to me by Random House.
Monday, February 15, 2010
I'll admit, I was pretty stoked about this one. Quentin Tarantino= good. Brad Pitt= good. People killing Nazis= good.
But this was a HUGE let down... HUGE. I didn't mind that it was not factual in the least. A group of guys seek to kill a whole bunch of Nazis. That's the premise. And they do. A woman seeks revenge against the Nazi that killed her family. And she gets it- kinda. Sure, there were lines here and there that were funny, sure it was cool to see bad guys get theirs, but I did not like the ending and I was pretty bored with the whole thing, which is weird for Tarantino. I'm not even sure why this was nominated. And I hate when the people that I want to die don't and the people I want to live don't.
Family Time Factor: Adults only, serious content and gore.
MOTR Grade: D+ (keep in mind, it has to be REALLY bad to get an F, which I've reserved so far for Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanemo Bay.)
I was very reluctant to watch District 9 because after reading about it, it sounded too sci-fi for me. I'm not a huge fan of alien movies.
Boy, was I wrong! This movie is crazy because you can't explain it to people without it sounding terrible, but it is so good! I even bought it after renting it through Netflix. The premise is that aliens show up twenty years ago over Johannesburg, South Africa. It turns out there's a bunch of dying aliens on board. They bring them down and segregate them into these slummy shacks. The aliens start intertwining in human life and the humans are not happy. MNU has been contracted to move them from their slums to a concentration camp outside the city so they don't bother the humans.
During the evictions, Wickus (the guy who is in charge of getting signatures on the eviction notices) gets sprayed by an alien toxin and he begins to morph slowly into an alien. Meanwhile, Christopher (an alien) is working on some illegal stuff and tries to protect he and his son from being killed.
Wickus gets taken to a lab and experimented on, but escapes and goes on the run, where he meets up again with Christopher.
Okay, you'll have to watch to find out the rest, but I loved this movie! I felt as though it was a metaphor for how many people treat others that are "alien" to them. They are treated like second-class citizens and it's as if they are not human. Anyway, maybe I read too much into it, but if you view it for the symbolism, it's outstanding!
Family Time Factor: It's awfully gory, so I wouldn't recommend it for young kids.
MOTR Grade: A
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Did you used to watch Fraggle Rock as a kid? Yeah, me neither. I think it was on PBS and if we got PBS, no one told me! Plus, being 6th in line for the remote kinda left me watching reruns of Fantasy Island, some lame-o sports event or Walker, Texas Ranger. I remember HEARING about Fraggle Rock and WANTING to watch it. Well, now our kids can as episodes are being released on DVD!
Anyway, back to Fraggle Rock. Jim Henson was the creator of the show about a group of cave-dwelling misfits who liked to dance, act silly and maybe learn a thing or two about life here and there. There were such kooky characters as Red, Gobo, Wembley, Marjory, the Trash Heap and evil villains such as the Gorgs. It's hard to resist these zany creatures. My daughter found it to be hysterical and I found myself cracking a few smiles. This non-animated feature includes the 3 episodes: Wembley's Egg, The Great Radish Famine and The Finger of Light.
In this DVD, spring is in the air. Marjory the Trash Heap decides to teach the Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs a lesson by magically making all the radishes in the Gorgs' garden disappear. Doc from "Outer Space" uses the power of music to help his plants grow. The egg hunt begins when Wembley finds the egg of a Baby Tree Creature in Fraggle Pond.
Special features include: "The Great Radish Round-Up" animated episode, a sing-along and a look at Jim Henson's Animal Show with Stinky & Jake.
Family Time Factor: I think this actually spans quite the ages and I would say would be best enjoyed by kids up to 12, and especially tolerable to adults who have imagination and remember what it was like to be fun and creative.
MOTR Grade: B
Fraggle Rock: Wembley's Egg Surprise is available February 9 on DVD!!!
After the reaction my son had the first time he saw Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I have become a loyal fan! Therefore, any DVD that comes out is a must have!
"This new release features four Minnie-themed stories including a never-before-seen episode and a fun Minnie magnet bow frame. ‘Minnie’s Pajama Party,’ and ‘Minnie’s Bee Story,’ include Disney’s Adventure Mode – an interactive game using the remote control with multiple play levels.
It's the grand opening of Minnie's Bow-tique, a store jam-packed with every kind of bow and bow-tie imaginable. The selections include: the "Glow-Bow", a bow that changes color with every mood; the "Grow-Bow", a bow that grows to tremendous size by just adding water; flying "Butterfly-Bows"; and a "Photo-Bow" that snaps instant pictures. Problems arise when Pete, embarrassed about buying a lady's bow for his favorite aunt, causes a few accidental mishaps in the new store. However, super salesperson Minnie finds the perfect bow for Pete. The Bow-tique's grand opening
is a success - and it all ends in a Big Bow Show with the Clubhouse gang modeling the latest fashions under the biggest bow of all, a colorful, sky-high Rain-Bow.
In a never-before-seen episode, Minnie’s Pajama Party Minnie and the girls set up a fun Pajama Party sleepover for the day – but it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially with the addition of Pete and Willie the Giant!"
If you're unfamiliar with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, it's one of the staples on Playhouse Disney and is geared towards toddlers and preschoolers. Both my kids love it. I think it's very educational. Kids learn letters, numbers, colors, vocabulary, but don't realize it because the show is so fun!
Family Time Factor: Probably best enjoyed by kids 6 and under. Not terrible to watch as a parent, but I'd much rather be cleaning, lol.
MOTR Grade: A
Minnie's Bow-Tique is available February 9 on DVD!!!
Saturday, February 6, 2010
You and I have quickly become lifelong friends. I am shunning my previous BFF, Bissell as she has soooooo been replaced.
I have dogs. The only carpeted room they are allowed in is the laundry room. Between the mud tracked in, the snow, the dirt, the occasional puppy or lazy dog... the carpeting gets pretty unholy and atrocious. It makes me shudder, it makes me die a little on the inside when I think about the filth and mucky muck of it all.
Previously I had been blown away by the Bissell ProHeat 2X. I swore by it, I loved it, I contemplated marriage. So, yesterday I set about on my carpet shampooing journey that I dreaded. Now, the ProHeat was a fantastic cleaner in its hayday, but I find it to be too complicated, messy and time consuming to use. Well, it broke. It wasn't working, I was determined that I was going to clean the carpet yesterday. Why yesterday, I don't know, don't judge me.
I checked out WalMart's website to do a little price comparing and saw that there was a new Bissell ProHeat model- for like $300 bucks! I did some review reading and found that the Hoover SteamVac Silver got some pretty snazzy reviews, it seemed simple to use and was half the price! No one was keeping me from my mission to have one. I rushed to WalMart, bought it, brought it home and started putting it together- only to find the handle was cracked and broken. So, unphased I rushed back to WalMart, exchanged it and came home to continue my mission.
It was Godly.
It was heavenly.
The floor was beautiful.
It was so clean I would have eaten off it... okay, maybe not cause that's nasty.
The SteamVac was so easy to use a man could do it.
I fell in love. I have to say, My Darling Hoover, you suck hard- and thats not a bad thing!
RandomLine has created a new series of games called Squiggle. These innovative games promote creative learning and encourage kids to get involved in simplifying their imaginations.
They have a wide variety of games that include both full-size and on-the-go products. The specific product I am reviewing and giving away is the Alphabet Squiggle Board Game. "Alphabet SQUIGGLE game is a unique, educational board game that introduces letters to children in a fun and creative way. Kids will learn and improve letter recognition and handwriting while strengthening their vocabulary and building self esteem. Children who are just learning letters to those who already know them will enjoy playing this fun and engaging game. Watch how surprised they get when they see how much they can do with letters!
To Play: Players move along the pencil path of letters. For every letter a player lands on, that player must find the letter on the outside edge of the board and either trace it or write it from memory on the sketch paper provided. If they're feeling creative, they can turn their letter tracing into a picture, write a word that begins with that letter, or create a drawing that begins with and reinforces that letter to move extra spaces. It’s simple, fun and engaging."
This product as well as many of their others are perfect for preschoolers. I chose Alphabet Squiggle because my daughter is in preschool and is learning her letters. This teaches her letter association and being able to distinguish between what the letter looks like and how to write it on paper.
RandomLine has been generous enough to provide one winner with an Alphabet Squiggle Board game. Contest is open to US residents only and ends February 20 at noon.
Visit their website and tell me which product you think sounds the best for your child and why (besides Alphabet Squiggle).
For additional entries:
1) Become a fan of RandomLine on Facebook.
2) Follow Randomline on Twitter.
3) Stumble, digg, tweet or post a link to this giveaway. (Each different one counts as an entry, so feel free to do multiple promotions.)
Disclosure: RandomLine has provided a copy for me to review as well as one for giveaway. Game retails for $19.99
Thursday, February 4, 2010
me: just cause you like Weeds doesn't mean you have to smoke pot
@mattstratton: That's like assuming I love to drink since I watch Mad Men. Oh, wait.
me: and like assuming I love to snuff people because I watch Dexter... oh, wait.
Ah, I slay myself.