Friday, April 11, 2014

Movie review: "Rio 2"

By now you all probably know that I am entirely mildly obsessed with animated movies; I watch them, I enjoy them, I dissect them, I review them... I basically LOVE them!
When the movie "Rio" came out back in 2011, I knew they HAD to make a sequel; the characters were fascinating and everything about the movie was perfect (the review for the original "Rio" can be found here); I thought there was so much material to explore within this compelling story...
Fast forward 3 years, and here's "Rio 2" (yay!).  As much as I agree that sequels are never as good as the originals, I have to say that this one was pretty close.
We are back with Blu and Jewel and their lovely Blue Macaw family; in the first part of the movie their day to day life is described and we get a glimpse of all the familiar characters!
The story unfolds as Linda and Tiago (the human characters) discover the possibility that there might be a whole other flock of Blue Macaws in the Amazonia and they decide to save their ecosystem.  Blu and company decide to fly out to help them out and once they reach their destination, they run into some crazy adventures and hilarious characters!
The sequel follows up with the witty humor of the first part and the characters do not disappoint! There's music, colors, great scenery and of course a wonderful lesson at the end!
I really loved how the writers delved deeper into each character and produced yet another fantastic movie; entertaining for the whole family.
I will say, however, that the movie was a bit slow around the middle part and the kids seemed to drift off for a bit, but in the end it was an overall success!
This one gets 3.5 out of 4 stars and definitely deserves a trip to the theater! :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"Sofia the First" giveaway

I love knowing that my readers are happy and winning goodies on a regular basis, so I have decided to do yet another awesome giveaway!
Back in November, a special long-hour "Sofia the First" episode was aired on the Disney channel; "The Floating Palace" was so successful that very quickly, little girls all over the place were talking about it. My girls became obsessed with it (especially Gaby) as I am sure was the case for many.

So.. do your kids enjoy watching "Sofia the First?", did they watch "The Floating Palace" episode? Would you like to win the recently released DVD featuring amazing bonus material?
If you answered YES to any of those questions, please fill out the following form to enter our giveaway!  The form will be open until 12pm Sunday April 13th  and a random winner will be picked the same night!  Prizes will be mailed out on Monday morning!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Movie review: "Heaven is for Real"

As some of you know, I recently lost my grandma and I have struggled to grasp the concept of not having her physical presence in my life anymore.  Mourning is a long process and everyone lives through it differently.
When I was invited to a special screening of the upcoming movie "Heaven is for Real" (in theaters April 16th) I saw it as a sign from God; ironically the invitation came a few days before my grandma died and it was scheduled for the day after her passing so when I realized that I felt more compelled to attend the screening and write a review; nothing is ever a coincidence, right?
I'm a sucker for true stories and this movie is IT; it tells the story of a 4 year old boy who went to heaven and had an encounter with Jesus and some of his deceased family members; knowing that this boy and his family are real people really made it a compelling story, especially during this very difficult time for me.
I had heard of the book "Heaven is for Real" and even though I had no idea a movie was about the come out, I really enjoyed the experience.  Whether you're religious or not, I believe everyone will find this movie to be very touching; the explanation of "heaven" as a state of mind vs. a place is very well handled and the story is very engaging. The lesson of "heaven on earth" is also one that is delivered beautifully in one of the movie's final scenes.
I will say, however, that except for Greg Kinnear the acting was very lame and almost excruciating to watch; I think because the movie was a low budget film they could not afford A-listers and in turn had to settle for random, unexperienced actors which definitely showed.
Either way the movie was a very healing experience for me and had the audience shedding some tears; it was passionate, deep and inviting.
I give it 2.5 out of 4 stars!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"The Flying Chair" by Olivia

Olivia has developed an interest in writing (**proud mom here!**). She keeps a writing journal and writes the coolest little stories that can come out of a 6 year old's mind.  This is her latest creation, which I wanted to share since I thought it was so cute and funny! (I just copied what she wrote!)

"The Flying Chair"
By Olivia Perez

If a chair started to fly in the library I would try to catch it and run around the library. It made lots of loud noises. It made the noises: clomp! clomp! boom! plash! smash! The library got so messy and it was a disaster!
The books were on the floor. The money was falling out of the counter. The librarian said..."Oh no! What a mess my library is! Oh no! and a flying chair is in my library." It flew on top of her head and under her legs.  She said "the school will be so mad at this chair! what a silly chair".
They turned off the lights. The chair fell back down on my head. Kazam! Slam! I went home with a bump on my head.
The end.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Walking with Dinosaurs": DVD release and DINO DAY!

Note: As part of this release, I will be giving away the "Walking with Dinosaurs" DVD to one lucky reader! Please fill out the form below if you are interested in participating in this drawing! Entry form will be open until Tuesday April 1st at 12pm

Even though dinosaurs disappeared over 65 million years ago, they continue to be fascinating to many (including myself); it's interesting to read about the many theories of why dinosaurs went extinct, or how they interacted and the many species that existed...
On March 25th, the movie "Walking with Dinosaurs" was released on DVD and since we didn't get a chance to watch it in theaters, it seemed like a good idea to see at home during one of our family movie nights!
The movie was great; it revolves around "Patchy", a dinosaur that is searching for his big moment; he grows up next to his older brother who always tries to overshadow his accomplishments.  "Patchy" is a friendly guy who has a clear understanding of the true meaning of family and friendship. The movie's animation is pretty awesome and the dinosaurs looked very realistic; the sceneries were also very beautiful and the story was extremely compelling.  If your kid is into dinosaurs, I strongly recommend this movie; it's such a great family film!

As part of the DVD release promotion, we had a "DINO DAY" at home; the girls got to draw dinosaurs, play dino games and learn a bit more about the many species and dinosaur families.. it was quite the day! Here are a few pictures....

Giveaway form:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Saying good bye is never easy....

Irene Colmenares (Sept 19th, 1928- March 25th, 2014)
"If I die today, please know that I had a wonderful life and I am forever thankful for that" is one of the phrases my grandma said to me during one of our many conversations in the course of her deteriorating health journey.
My grandma was a great woman; she was humble, loving, decisive and very giving.  She lived a good life and always knew to be thankful for all of her blessings and appreciate every day that passed. She was a woman of faith and was very confident that the day the Lord called her would be a happy day as she was sure she always gave her all in everything she did and always trusted that God was leading her way...
My grandma and I used to play Scrabble almost daily; I still remember the first time we played...I was a little girl who barely knew how to read and write and she would just let me make up crazy words so I could use all my letters and beat her score! I will miss our Scrabble matches oh so much! It is because of her that I beat most people at "Words with Friends" and she knew that! ;)
Grandma was very sick; she had been struggling for years with a devastating pulmonary insufficiency and had to gasp for air almost daily; she always told me her biggest fear was to die feeling asphyxiated... I promised her I wouldn't let that happen... and I didn't.  When she was admitted to the ER on Monday and was subsequently referred for an ICU consult, I knew the end was near.  As the doctors brought up the DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) conversation, fear took over...with over 10 years of experience in geriatric social work, this scenario was all too familiar for me, I just couldn't believe it was happening to US. Even though I think our family had reached a state of resignation (considering her poor health), no one was ready for her to leave, everyone wanted to hold out hope and pretend she would get out of this one alive.
On Tuesday, I spent all day at her bedside, holding her hand and contemplating her face.  Our family had already made the decision that no aggressive care would be given and we would just let her illness run its course and just make her as comfortable as possible...and so it did, at 5pm my beloved grandma took her last breath and went to be with the Lord; she was surrounded by all of her family and felt our love until the last minute.
Watching my grandma die is one of the most difficult and saddest moments I've ever gone through; my grandma meant SO MUCH to me and she will forever be in my heart. I am happy that I have no regrets when it comes to Grandma..I spent my life telling her how much I loved her; I hugged her almost daily and spoke to her for hours on end...I really enjoyed her!
These past two days have been painful because saying good bye is never easy; knowing that we will no longer play Scrabble or engage in our daily conversations seems so surreal.  I've cried all the tears my eyes could possible cry; I've thought of her, prayed for her and even spoken to her; accepting that she is gone is so awful and I just hope that this pain will go away and turn into some sort of positive emotion that I can use to console myself but for now I'm grieving and I am freely living such grief.
I know you are happy dear Grandma; I know you lived a good life and I am sure you will watch over me for the years to come.  I will forever miss you and remember you as the great woman you were to me and some day we will meet again!
Thank you, Grandma for teaching me that family always comes first, that faith is always a central part of life and that no matter how hard life gets, there is always a reason to smile and be thankful!
I love you with all my heart!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Giveaway: Doc Mcstuffins Mobile Clinic DVD

Hello mommies!
Do your little ones enjoy "Doc Mcstuffins" and all of her friends?  Do you know any of the songs and character names? Do you think the sweet Doc is a fun friend for all?
If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then this giveaway is for you!
The following items will be given away to some of the readers who complete the following survey:
* Doc Mcstuffins DVD (features 5 episodes)
* Doc Mcstuffins Play-Doh set
* Doc Mcstuffins doctor piece
Please submit your answers and you will be contacted shortly to let you know if you've won. I'm so eager to give these goodies away!!!  Please keep in mind that all answers are strictly confidential and the results will NOT be published on this blog!
Entry form will close on Wednesday March 26th at 12pm and winners will be contacted shortly after!
 Happy Blogging!

Update: Form has been closed.  Winners have been contacted and prizes have been mailed out.