Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coming Monday......Newness

So some of you may think that I have given up on this blog, well I have! Kind of.  As a few of you have noticed when trying to comment on this blog there are some glitches, mainly with my template, but I've also had a hacker come and do some not nice things to my blog which made me think perhaps I will "start over".

Hubby, the amazing Coaster Critic, blogger extraordinaire and I put our heads together and decided that the best way to accomplish what I wanted from a blog, while making it family friendly and hopefully hacker unfriendly-ish would be to change my format, hosting, and even do some fun redesigning. Well, that redesign has been through 3 templates, many long nights, and lots of decisions, but we've done it, (I would not have been able to do a 16th of the new blog without hubby's help. So really my whole new site goes out to him. ~Thanks hubby for stressing to make sure I had something I wanted that would work well.~

My new site will be revealed sometime on Monday, November 30th, just in time for the new month. I figure I'm turning 30 next week anyway so it'll be good timing to rework my blog anyway. I'm very excited for all of you to see it, be able to comment on it and add your opinions and hopefully share it with your friends too.

Oh yeah and I have some great new posts for you to get started reading :)

So be sure to check back in and for those of you who are actually still reading this blog, big thanks!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Santa Buddies DVD/Blu-Ray Review


Just in time for this holiday season Disney presents Santa Buddies, a mischievously merry Christmas movie that will not only bring laughter to your home but also touch your heart. Santa Buddies follows a list of fun predecessors including Air BudAir Buddies, and Space Buddies, to name a few.
Santa Buddies is a live action film featuring the familiar faces of George Wendt as Santa Claus, Christopher Lloyd as grumpy Stan Crudge, and Danny Woodburn as the lovable Head Elf Eli. Zachary Gordon does the voice-over for the main character, Puppy Paws. Stan is the character you love to hate. Christopher Lloyd plays a spectacularly grumpy dog catcher and his character is very believable. Aside from the human players, there are many fur-covered characters who play important roles in making this movie shine.
Viewers will love the rambunctious, snow white Puppy Paws whose curiosity gets him in trouble. Five personality-filled golden retriever pups called The Buddies enhance the fun and laughs. Budderball, B-Dawg, Rosebud, Mudbud, and Buddha each create their own hilarious antics from the start of the film to the finish. You're bound to fall in love with one, if not all, of them. Some of their rambunctious adventures in Santa Buddies include doggie break dancing, a jaw-dropping mud scene, and a Christmas cookie disaster.
I love the movie's play on the Christmas classic A Christmas Carol. The dog catcher in this movie, Stan Crudge played by Christopher Lloyd, is the villain and, not so coincidentally, his name can be transformed into S. Crudge. Other Christmas Carol similarities are when Stan is visited by the Elf dog resembling Scrooge's spirits, and there's even a version of Tiny Tim. I thought it was neat that they added that layer to the film.
The version of Santa Buddies that I reviewed came with both standard DVD and Blu-ray versions. I did not watch the Blu-Ray version of this film but I think it's great that there is an option. If you have a DVD player in your vehicle you will definitely want to consider buying this so your kids can enjoy it both at home or in the car.
I give this movie two thumbs up for being a delightfully funny family movie while showing children there is more to Christmas than the material side.
Go out and get your copy Tuesday, November 24th!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Birth Theatrical Review


Imagine spending time with the girls enjoying mommy conversations where everyone ends up talking about their birth experience. From c-sections, to nursing, to obs, and hospitals everyone has an interesting story to tell. Sounds like your typical mom's night out right?? Well now it's also a theatrical presentation.

Birth by Karen Brody gives viewers a sneak peek into what it's like for women of varied backgrounds to be the center of this miraculous event. This piece is based on interviews that playwright Karen Brody conducted with moms across America and paints a picture of how low-risk, educated women give birth today.

The characters in this piece are very easy to relate with if you're a mother. Whether it's the down to earth mom, who after she got a taste of actual contractions had three hospital births and 1 in home birth, the momma who saw midwives all throughout her pregnancy and insisted her baby was breech even when no one else would believe her, or the woman who wanted a c-section from the start for planning purposes.

Many women, like the characters in this performance, have their "dream" birth. You know, the one we all dream of?? Peace, love, and harmony, floating on a cloud of awesomeness while delivering our little angel?

Well, sometimes things just don't turn out that way. While I never knew I would have a c-section with Little Miss "A" I did experience the doctors talking about sports and didn't have that immediate one on one time with her that I would have wished. This time I am again choosing c-section for health and yes somewhat planning reasons. Family will be able to help with Avery and be able to be here when the baby is born and for me having a c-section as opposed to a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section (VBAC) will not effect me in the long-haul.

Personally I see a lot of the individual stories leading the viewer towards natural, unassisted births and alleging that hospitals have their own agendas making sure the baby is safe and they are not at risk for a lawsuit. I do understand that some mothers can be traumatized especially when something they don't expect to happen in labor and delivery happens.  I always say expect the worst and hope for the best instead of setting yourself up for failure when the birth doesn't go exactly as planned. Of course it's always best to research, research, research.

From what I understand Birth is about empowering pregnant women to make their own choices for their own bodies when it comes to laboring and delivering their child. I know we as a race are strong and yes, "We Rock," and I think when it comes down to it we're blessed with a beautiful child.

I had the amazing opportunity to view the final dress rehearsal of Birth by the players of Bold Charlotte. Thanks again for the amazing invitation and the great performance. You can find performances in your area here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Warm Heart

So allegidly my blog makes someone warm and fuzzy besides my family. I am very honored to receive the Heartfelt Blogger Award from a cute bloggy momma Mommys Time. Thanks for the shout that's super sweet.

Rules of the award are as follows:
Display the award logo (check)
Nominate up to 9 blogs that make you feel comfy or warm inside (some awesome blogs to check out below!)
Link to your nominees (click on their name to visit their site)
Link to the person from whom you received the award (See my shout out above, how sweet!)

Here are my nominees that I just adore:

Congrats girls I love your blogs!!! Pass on the love.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dusty Goddess

So you would think that after 2.5 years of doing this whole mommy thing that I would be a pro at all things domestic. Well do I ever have you fooled! Now don't get me wrong I do know some pretty awesome tricks and tips to save time and avoid meltdowns, but there are a few sections of the domestic goddessness that I haven't mastered that I would love to improve upon.

I'm so envious of the moms who have everything planned out, perhaps because before I became a mom myself I used to be so much more organized. Although there are a lot of things that have changed A.C. (after child); my body, (which sometimes I'd rather deny that it's mine), becoming that late person that I always hated, and memorizing every little thing there's one thing that I didn't want to change and it's being super duper organized.

Perhaps I gave up being so particular for my sanity, considering I had a newborn, packed up a whole townhouse, moved to a new state into an apartment and THEN a new house in only 3 months. So I'm not super mom and realized that it's okay to put some things off if I can spend more time with my daughter. Oh how things have changed. These days, since Little Miss "A" is a little more self-sufficient I'm able to get more housework done and she even likes to help. (Must record that here in the blog so I can show her when she is a teen.) Instead I think that now it would give me more time to spend with "A" if I were more organized.

I clip coupons, keep a daily calendar of events (sometimes even with 3 calendars I still forget the time of play dates and nights out,) but what's missing is a little more detailed organization.

Here are my list of things to work on to help improve, let's say quality of life:

-Start planning weekly meals (and if I'm good enough even coordinate sales/coupons to meals)
-Create a "schedule" for "A" so she and I can get more out of her day and bring a little more structure in
-Start throwing/donating things that are junking up my closets in hopes that my $2 sweater will sell after 5 months on craigslist.
-Select certain days to clean certain things, oooh this one may be fun, I could do theming: Toilet Tuesdays, Washer Wednesdays, now if there was only a day of the week that started with "N" then I could have a nap day :)

Those are a few of my current goals, I'd love to start before baby #2 makes her debut. I would love any tips or websites devoted to a decent but not quite there organized momma. I think my Domestic Goddess Award is getting dusty...I may even have it revoked if I don't do something STAT!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

iCarly Wii Review


Ever wonder what it would be like to join the cast of iCarly in their hi jinks? iCarly on Wii allows you to be as creative as you want when it comes to set design, props, characters, design, and more.
On May 13, 2009, Nickelodeon announced they had reached an agreement with Activision to produce an iCarly video game for the Nintendo game systems DS and Wii. On October 27 this video game became available to the public.
This game is based on iCarly, an Emmy Award-nominated television series that premiered on September 8, 2007 on Nickelodeon. The series stars Miranda Cosgrove, Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress, and Jerry Trainor. The premise of the show is that Carly (Cosgrove) and her best friends Sam (McCurdy) and Freddie (Kress) create their own web show called iCarly. The three try to stay out of trouble while making their web show funny and successful.
Start creating new webisodes on iCarly with the one player feature or invite up to three of your friends to join in. Fans of the show will appreciate that more than 200 of the game's "webisodes" are taken straight from the series. With each mini-game you complete you earn "Web-cred" allowing you to buy fun items for your iCarly studio. The more you play the more features you can unlock. Emails from fans, opponents, and the game keep your webisodes exciting and fun.
My only qualm with the game is that the webisode instructions are very brief. In a majority of the games I wasn't sure what to do with my controller, but did figure it out after a few tries. I would prefer something more like Mario Party, for example, where the screen shows you the buttons to press and instructions prior to the game starting.
Prior to this review I had never watched iCarly on television, but of course had heard about it. I decided to watch an episode to see if that would change my perception of the game. Honestly, I don't think that you need to be a viewer to get the concept of the game and do well in it. If you or someone you know is already an iCarly fan, however, this is a great game that features well-known characters from the show.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Handfuls Handprints Part 1


Little Miss "A" and I had a fun opportunity to check out Handfuls Handprints in action this weekend. The owner, Jenny Bertleston invited us to create impressions of Little Miss "A's" hand and foot print. "A" was so excited after seeing the great pictures on Handfuls Handprints Website that she took one of her play plates and started tracing her hand on the plate. Should I be glad she was excited??

I love Handfuls because their finished product is much more detailed compared to a lot of places I've seen. A lot of work goes into achieving this pristine look. Jenny uses a specially formulated glaze and repeat kiln firings to brings out the beauty in these custom works of art.

Once we got to Fancy Pants, a super cute boutique in Charlotte we met Jenny. She has a very gentle and sweet personality and is just amazing with children. She took great care to make sure "A's" hand was placed in the perfect spot.

"A" was so proud to see her hand in the ceramic!

Then we stood "A" up on the table with her mammoth 9.5 size feet and the look on her face was priceless. She was grinning from ear to ear. I'm not sure if it felt neat because it was cold or the fact that she was like a celebrity on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, perhaps all of the above. I was nervous that "A's" scrunched toes would make the print look weird, but Jenny's such a pro at this that she got an amazing footprint.

Here's Jenny, Handfuls Handprints, owner showing us the amazing work of art. Again, look how "A" is so excited about seeing the product. She even said she wanted to do it again right after we had finished if that tells you how much fun it is for a 2.5 year old.

Here's the finished (for now) product. Jenny gives you options on colors, text (what you want written on the piece), and even shape options. I think these extras allow you to make the prints even more personal to your own family. We even let "A" pick out her own colors and can't wait to see what it looks like after it's done in December. We'll have an official reveal on the site as well.

Here are a couple of my favorite styles. One with a handprint in a handprint, how precious is that??

And something I am positive I want with baby #2. Aren't these ornaments simply adorable??

Attention animal lovers!!! Handfuls also does impressions for your favorite pets including but not limited to dogs, cats, and horses.

What would you pick if you had your choice of any of Handful's products??

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