Category Archives: review

Thor: Ragnarok – Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok opened in theaters on November 3rd and it was a much anticipated movie for Joe and I.

Synopsis
Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive the deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk!

Joe’s thoughts
The first thing I read about Thor:Ragnarok was this tweet comparing it to the side of a cool dude’s van, and from that moment I was awash with anticipation. I can now confirm that the sweet-ass van guy’s initial impression was 100% accurate.

On top of being full of the sort of intergalactic ass-kicking that belongs on an epic heavy metal album cover, Thor:Ragnarok was also surprisingly hilarious. Instead of taking an overly serious approach, the film deals with the downfall of Thor and the destruction of the world with levity and frivolity. This approach makes an overtly fantastical story both accessible and believable, when it would otherwise be campy and cheesy.

The reemergence of the Hulk was something I’ve been looking forward to for years, and it was worth the wait. Watching the Hulk’s interactions with the other characters was very relatable for parents of small children.

Thor:Ragnarok is easily the best Thor-Hulk team-up movie, beating out the 1988 Bill Bixby classic The Incredible Hulk Returns by a large margin. It is also the best Thor movie, and it is definitely in the running for the best Marvel movie.

The direction by Taika Waititi was spot-on, and the casting was great. Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, and Idris Elba were especially fun to watch, and there were a ton of unexpected cameos. Immense attention was paid to tiny details and references that nerds like me will be pouring over for months.
All in all, Thor: Ragnarok was extraordinarily fun movie.

I received passes to the featured event in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

 

Native Deodorant – A natural deodorant that works

Photo Sep 25, 1 15 52 PM

Over the past 10 years of being married to Joe he’s helped me take notice of what I was putting in and on my body. There are so many unknown chemicals in products we use everyday and no one is really sure what the long term effect of said chemicals may be. So we tried to be very cautious of what we use in our home. We follow the rule of if you can’t read the ingredients you probably don’t need them.

We recently tried Native Deodorant and I’m in love. I have honestly tried a dozen or so natural deodorants and none of them have been very success for me. I’ve been using Native now for about a month and it actually works. I’m a little particular about the scents I use on my body, I don’t like anything overly perfume-y. I am currently testing out two different scents the Rose and Magnolia scent and Rose and Lavender scent. I really like both a lot but I think the Rose and Lavender is probably my favorite. Joe is also testing out the Cypress and Cedar scent. All three of these scents are fresh and clean smelling.

What I really love about Native is the quality and commitment to creating a safe product. All of their deodorants are aluminum free and paraben free. They don’t just cover up bad orders with an overly perfume-y smell but they actually use ingredients like baking soda to neutralize odors, arrowroot powder to absorb moisture and acidophilus to eliminate odor-causing fungi, yeast, and bacteria. All of their deodorants are a solid deodorant that goes on smoothly and won’t stain your clothes.

Native offers free shipping on all orders and if you don’t like it, they will give you a full refund. Priced at around $12 each I think it’s a great product for the money especially. All of their products are made in the USA in small batches and are never tested on animals. What’s not to love!

BUY
Native Deodorants are available online with FREE Shipping

I received the featured product in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are not influenced by the company.

Get Outside with Toysmith #FreeFormFun

Photo Aug 30, 3 46 43 PM Photo Aug 30, 3 48 26 PM (1) Photo Aug 30, 3 54 03 PM Photo Aug 30, 3 52 02 PM

We try to limit screen time for our boys but that means you have to have alternative activates ready for them. I’ve found that giving them a simple game or objective gets them moving and once they get moving their creative and active brains get going.

Toysmith’s collection of Get Outside, GO! has some great outdoor games and activities to help get kids moving. Yesterday after school I set up a few new games for the boys in our well-loved backyard. We played Spring Ring and Bashminton. They are similar games that require 2 players to hit a ball-like object back and forth. I think the boys like Spring Ring the best because it was a little bit easier for them since they could hold the ring with 2 hands.

Spring Ring comes with 2 large springy paddles, a bouncy ball and a pom-pom ball. It can be played on land or in the water. The pom-pom is a little bit easier to use which makes it ideal for younger children.

Bashminton comes with 2 oversized rackets and a bashable birdie ball. This game is a little more challenging for younger children but is still a lot of fun.

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 11.05.28 AM

We also tried out Night Zone Capture the Flag which just adds a fun twist to your classic game of capture the flag. The set comes with 2 light up flags and 2 light up bases. The red team versus the blue team for a fun battle over these light up flags. We look forward to playing this with some friends at night.

Once I get my boys outside playing it’s hard to get them to come back in. Sometimes they just need a little extra nudge to get them out the door, like some fun new outdoor games.

I received the featured product in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are not influenced by the company.

Back to School Routine with Juicy Juice

My boys have been back to school for about 4 weeks now and I finally feel liked we’re getting into a good routine for our days. It’s so important for my boys to have a daily routine they can count on, it’s helps to feel confident and comfortable when they know what to expect from the day.

I typically prep their school lunches the day before so I can be present during our morning routine. The boys know there are no screens in the morning before school but after they are ready for the day they are free to play or read until it’s time to leave.

In the afternoons they unpack their backpacks and then are free to relax for an hour or so until we have to start homework. They typically run to play with their little brother’s that they’ve obviously missed throughout the day. We have a small snack and discuss the events of our day. It’s probably one of my favorite parts of the day because they little brothers are so excited to tell the big boys what they’ve been doing all day. I love to listen to them excitedly share what’s be going on while they were gone.

Photo Aug 28, 3 25 43 PM Photo Aug 28, 3 25 22 PM

Having a routine helps our days run smoothly and reduce the amount of whining when they kids know what is expected of them. I actually think they look forward to their screen free mornings playing with their little brothers before they head off to school.

Juicy Juice has more great tip from author Meredith Sinclair on how to get your kids into the back-to-school routine.

I received the featured product in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are not influenced by the company.

Tips for Packing School Lunch

Photo Aug 21, 7 22 09 PM

I pack 2 school lunches every day, in a few weeks I will be packing 3 school lunches. I’m working on streamlining the process to make my life easier but also still provide healthy lunches for my boys. Here are a few things I do to help make my life a little easier.

  1. Buy in Bulk – A lot of ingredients are required when you have to pack 3 lunches 5 times a week. So I frequent big box stores when I’m able or a just buy several boxes of whatever product I’m buying.
  2. Buy Proper Food Storage – I bought several 3 compartment food containers and a lunch box that fits said container plus has a place for a water bottle. We save money buy reusing the food storage containers and giving the boys water bottles for their drinks. Plus, I can store messier food in the containers.
  3. Pack Ahead – I typically pack the boys lunches the day before. I have a toddler at home with me while they are at school and he also requires lunch. So whatever I make him for lunch I just make more and pack the boys lunch while I’m at it. I just store them in the refrigerator so I can just pop them in their lunch boxes in the morning.
  4. Remember your food groups – I know my kids would love a meal full of sugary treats and carbs but I also know that if I pack them fruit or veggies they might actually eat it. My boys are well rounded diners so I try to provide a few different foods in their lunch. For instance, one lunch may be pizza rolls, baby carrots, grapes, veggie straws and a Go Organically Fruit Snack.
  5. Have fun – I know I get sick of eating the same thing every day so I try to make the boys versatile and fun lunches. Some of their favorites are pizza rolls, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, crackers and cheese, and more. They typically only have sandwiches about twice a week. I also like to include a fun sweet treat like Go Organically Fruit Snack.

image004

Go Organically Fruit Snacks make for perfect treats in the boys’ school lunch.  These tasty, on-the-GO USDA-certified organic fruit snacks are made with real fruit, available in three great flavors – Fruit Medley, Mixed Berry, and Tropical!

image001

Sweepstakes
Go Organically® Fruit Snacks has partnered with select organic brands to assemble the perfect On-The-GO Road Trip pack for your summer vacation. Your readers can enter to win one of our tasty, organic prize packs by filling out the form.

  • 1 lucky winner will win a $500 Gas Gift Card, 1 Diono Car Seat, and a basket filled with organic goodness for your family’s summer road trip.
  • 10 lucky winners will win a basket filled with tasty treats for your family’s summer road trip.
  • 25 winners will receive a box of Go Organically® Fruit Snacks.

Contest Ends 8/31/17

Giveaway
One lucky reader will win 1 of each flavor of Go Organically Fruit Snacks. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Ends 9/10/17

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends 9/10/17

I received the featured product in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are not influenced by the company.

Smurfs – The Lost Village DVD Review

Once again we had a wonderful Friday evening with our traditional pizza and a movie. This week we watched Smurfs – The Lost Village and it was a huge hit.

smurfs lost village

About
Smurfs – The Lost Village

In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!

I loved the Smurfs when I was young and I loved being able to share this fun story with my kids. The Lost Village explores the story of how Smurfs came to be and what secrets lie beyond their small village. It’s fun for me as an adult to learn more about the characters I loved some much as a child.

The cast boast many popular actors whom you might easily recongnize their voice, or not. One of my favorite things to do while watching animated movies with my kids it to try and figure out which famous actors are voicing the characters. Sometimes it’s easy and other times I’m quite surprised. This time there were several voices I recognized right away like Jack McBrayer, Rainn Wilson and Ellie Kemper.

The DVD and BluRay also comes with so much bonus material like commentary, interactive featurettes, and music videos. Overall, it’s a great movie for family movie night and we can’t wait to watching it again.

I received the featured Blu-Ray in exchange for my honest opinion. My opinions are not influenced by the company.

Probiotics for Women

Photo Jul 07, 2 56 41 PM

I’ve been using Jarrow probiotics on and off for several years and have always loved the results I see when using them. Whenever I’ve been pregnant in the past I’ve use them to help regulate bowel movements and keep my pH levels balanced. And with my babies and kids I’ve used Jarrow probiotics to help heal their gut health especially after stomach viruses.

I’ve been taking the yum-yum dophilus, fem dophilus and Jarro-Dophilus for women for a few weeks now and have noticed that the yum-yum dohilus has helped me feel more regular and healthy. They are really easy chewable tablets and taste great which makes them great for my kids to take too. The fem dohuilus have helped during my hormonal shifts and help keep the urinary and vaginal bacteria in check. I also really like that this formula doesn’t need to be kept refrigerated. Additionally, the Jarro-Dophilus for Women has been great at keeping my vaginal microfloral healthy.

Jarro-Dohilus for Women contains four probiotic strains that support vaginal urinary and reproductive tract health. What is great about Jarrow’s formulas is the EnteroGuard enteric coating which allows the probiotic to pass through the stomach unharmed and ready to be released in the intestines intact.

Jarrow also make a variety of other great probiotics for men, women and children all of which help balance pH and healthy bacteria in the body.

Jarro-Dophilus is available at health food stores nationwide and at many online retailers. Visit jarrowprobiotics.com for a full list of locations.

I received this product for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Guilt Free Summer Treats

Photo Jul 07, 3 00 47 PM

I’ve been cutting back my sugary treat intake over the past few months and with this blazing hot summer heat there is nothing I want more than a huge bowl of ice cream. When Joe and I were first married we would eat a bowl of ice cream almost every night… oh to be in my 20s again. After having 4 kids and surpassing my 35th birthday my body is no longer as forgiving of my indulgences. And I’m not just talking about the extra weight I’ve gained… I genuinely feel bad when I eat too much sugar.

We rarely eat sugary treats at night any more but on the occasion that I want something cold and sweet on these hot summer nights I’m stoked to learn about Arctic Zero, a zero-guilt sweet treat made with clean ingredients. The founder of ARCTIC ZERO created it for his mom—a Type-1 diabetic, because he believes that everyone should be able to enjoy delicious frozen desserts without any worries.

About Arctic Zero

  • ARCTIC ZERO is great for diabetics since it’s sweetened with monk fruit
  • ARCTIC ZERO is lactose free
  • ARCTIC ZERO only uses rBST-free whey protein
  • ARCTIC ZERO offers gluten free frozen dessert options.
  • ARCTIC ZERO is certified kosher, GMO free, and contains no artificial ingredients

Buy

Price Around $4.49/pint
You can buy Arctic Zero online or at your local grocery store.

We’ve tried several of the Arctic Zero flavors like Salted Caramel, Cherry Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter Swirl and more. The variety of flavors are amazing. The texture is a little bit different than a traditional ice cream, Joe says it reminds him of snow cream. I think my favorite flavor was the Cookie Shake and Joe’s favorite flavor was Peanut Butter Swirl.

The true test was weather or not Joe liked Arctic Zero. Ask anyone that knows him and they’ll tell you he has a slight obsession with ice cream. He’s also pretty picky about the kind of ice cream he eats so the fact that he really loves Arctic Zero tells me a lot. It’s not exactly like ice cream but it is a pretty great frozen dessert, especially for those that can’t typically have traditional ice cream.

I received this product for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.